Backwards from Winter
- 60 Minutes
- 1 Soprano; 1 Electric Cello
Musical Drama, Poetic Drama, Bare Stage, Small Cast
Backwards from Winter is a modern opera, a “monodrama for soprano, electric cello, computer, and video.” Composed by Douglas Knehans with libretto by Juanita Rockwell, is the story of a young woman who loses her lover in a fatal accident. The story is told in four scenes – one representing each season.
Backwards from Winter, a modern opera, unravels its story in a nonlinear fashion through live voice, live electronic/computer music and multiple video streams. After the lover’s death at the opening, we move backwards from winter.
Structured on the structure of Japanese tanka. Time is reversed as the pair’s relationship changed through each season – the conclusion in spring shows the moment they first fell in love.
This hour-long operatic monodrama explores a single woman’s reflection on a love relationship as seen through various elemental filters of seasons, color, nature, emotion and memory and told
She traces the past year with her beloved, moving backwards through time: from deep winter where she is in grief over his death, to autumn, where she experiences the sharp pain of losing him in a storm, through the summer’s heat of their passion, to the heart-opening birth of their love in spring.
Just as our conventional experience of linear time can be disrupted by deep grief or joy, this modern opera disrupts theatrical conventions of narrative, character, and psychology to recreate a sense of impermanence, loss, and love.
HAD ITS PREMIER AS PART OF THE NEW YORK OPERA FEST. ALL THE PARTS THAT MAKE UP OPERA ARE UNIFIED ON STAGE TO CREATE AN ENORMOUSLY SATISFYING THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE.
Winding backwards from grief to the joy of spring and awakening leaves both the artists and the audience in a good place.“
(BERKSHIRE FINE ARTS on New York City World Premiere)
THIS MODERN OPERA IS REMARKABLE…
(LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE on the Australian Premiere Season)
From the Play
The New York City, May 25, 2018 Premiere
The New York City premiere
occurred on May 25, 2018 at Symphony Space under the auspices of the Center for Contemporary Opera.
Australia - June 20-23, 2018
Dark Mofo Festival
June 20-23, 2018 under the auspices of Foundation IHOS Amsterdam