Will you raise your voice for the future? And what song will it be?
A mother struggles to find the right song to lull her baby to sleep, her attempts lost in the protest chants coming through the window. Her restlessness grows as the uprising swells. Can she bring her child peace in the midst of a fight for his very future? And who’s fight is it anyway?
Lullaby follows a woman caught between a turbulent inner and outer world, singing her way from isolation to connectivity . On a quest for a song to soothe herself and her baby, they venture out into the night and what unfolds is a confronting and unexpected journey. Her path intertwines with others in a lighthearted twist delivering the lullaby she needs and her own evolution in the process.
Lullaby is an original sung monodrama written for acclaimed soprano Laura Bohn. Composer Kamala Sankaram's score deftly weaves the voice with virtuosic viola and keyboard over a kaleidoscopic soundscape in meditative lullaby, protest anthems, and jazz-inflected rhythms. Librettist Guillermo Calderón's writing evokes a struggle between the inner and outer world which is playful, at times absurd, hopeful, and unflinchingly honest. Co-creator and director Sjaron Minailo translates the dramatic monodrama into a thriller like opera with his distinctive atmospheric minimalist signature.
Lullaby celebrates the interconnectivity of humanity with a global message; whether you are protesting in the streets or bringing a baby to sleep, you are never singing alone.
Lullaby received it's world premiere in May 2023 at the O. Festival, Rotterdam (former Operadagen).
In 2024-25 it will tour the Netherlands including the Boekmanzaal of De Nationale Opera, the renowned Theater Vrijthof in Maastricht and the ZOOM! Festival, among others. The U.S. premiere will take place at Festival Opera in California in the summer of 2024. Lullaby performed in the O-Lab at the O Festival in 2022 in a work-in-progress presentation.
Laura Bohn, soprano; "an amazing blend of vocal splendor and physical virtuosity'' (San Francisco Chronicle). “a brilliant tour de force triumph” (Gramophone)
Kamala Sankaram, composer; "A strikingly original artist" (New York Times). “a rousing composer” (LA Times)
Guillermo Calderón, libretto; "there’s a freshness and forcefulness to Calderón’s work, which marries the urgency of politics to the playful joy of theatre making.” (American Theatre).
Sjaron Minailo, co-creator/director; “Thus (Minailo) proved that is is possible to build a bridge connecting the past and centuries old tradition with a contemporary interpretation. It is exactly the golden mean: unobtrusive perception, not transposed, reflecting the artistic values of the work.” (Krakow Times)
The Creative Team
Kamala Sankaram, composer
Praised as “strikingly original” (NY Times) and “one of the most exciting opera composers in the country” (Washington Post), Kamala Sankaram writes highly theatrical music that defies categorization. Recent commissions include the Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Opera on Tap, among others. Awards, grants and residencies include: Jonathan Larson Award, NEA ArtWorks, MAP Fund, Opera America, NY IT Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, the MacDowell Colony, and the Watermill Center among others.
Sankaram's work has been featured on NBC and the BBC3 and performed at LA Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and The Prototype Festival in New York. Dr. Sankaram holds a PhD from the New School and is currently a member of the composition faculty at SUNY Purchase.
Guillermo Calderón, librettist
Guillermo Calderón (Santiago, Chile, 1971) is a screenwriter, playwright and theater director. Calderón’s productions have toured extensively through South America, North America, and Europe. He has been commissioned to write and direct by the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Theater Basel, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, the Royal Court Theater, Center Theater Group, and the Public Theater in New York City, where he also directed Neva. His co-written screenplay Violeta Went to Heaven won the World Cinema Jury Prize for Drama at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Calderón co-wrote The Club, directed by Pablo Larrain, winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival 2015, and nominated for the Golden Globes in the Foreign Language category. The script won the Silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. He wrote the script for Neruda, directed by Pablo Larraín, presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (The Director's Fortnight) during Cannes Film Festival 2016.
Sjaron Minailo, co-creator, director, co-producer
Dutch/Israeli music theatre and opera director Sjaron Minailo studied theatre and musicology in Israel and Amsterdam. He is the artistic director of Studio Minailo – an Amsterdam based laboratory for experimental contemporary opera. Minailo is specialised in minimalist site-specific opera creations that break the conventions of space and tradition. Alongside his studio work, Minailo is a freelance director whose recent productions have been seen at the Venice Biennale, Prototype Festival New York, Holland Festival, Opera La Monnaie, Dutch Nationale Opera, Bergen National Opera, Poznan Opera, Rara Festival Krakau, Tempo Festival Rio de Janeiro and O. Festival.
Minailo is the artistic director of the MA program Re:master Opera at Amsterdam based Sandberg Institute and Artist-Curator at the Opera Forward Festival of the Dutch National Opera and a recurring tutor at European Network of Opera Academies (ENOA).
Laura Bohn, Soprano
American Soprano Laura Bohn's performances have been heralded as "a brilliant tour de force triumph" and "the tragic classicism and intense, focused range of a Callas playing Medea" (Gramophone). She has been featured in performances with the LA Philharmonic, The Industry (LA), The Mostly Mozart Orchestra (NY) , Het Residentie Orkest (Netherlands), I Solisti del Vento (Belgium), Operadagen Rotterdam, Syracuse Opera (NY), West Edge Opera (CA), Festival Opera (CA), The Center for Contemporary Opera (NY), The Millennium Jazz Orchestra (NL), the Grand Harmonie Orchestra (MA) and Silbersee Opera (NL). Ms. Bohn has been featured on such stages as Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, National Sawdust in New York, Het Concertgebouw and Het Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam.
Recent highlights include her Lincoln Center debut as soprano soloist (singing and dancing) in Bernstein's MASS, a reprise of the role which marked her debut with the LA Philharmonic in early 2018 under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. Other role highlights include the Governess in The Turn of the Screw in Oakland and Dallas, The Duchess in Adés' Powder her Face in Oakland, Elle in La Voix Humaine in New York and Holland, Marzelline in Fidelio in Princeton, and a dancing and singing Nerone in a hip-hop adaptation of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. Recent projects include the witch in a radical adaptation of Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel with Silbersee Opera, Anne LeBaron's new opera LSD: Huxley's Last Trip embodying the psychedelic LSD and her first feature length operafilm She Who is Alive by Erling Wold. www.LauraBohn.com
Gijs Kramers, Viola
As a soloist, Gijs Kramers performed works of John Cage, George Benjamin and Pierre Boulez in the Festival d’Art Lyrique in Aix-en-Provence. Solo concertos include Henkemans’ viola concerto in Groningen and Bartók’s concerto in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. In 2001 he was appointed co-principal viola of the Netherlands Ballet Orchestra before joining the London Philharmonia Orchestra in 2002 where he performs over 100 performances a season.
As a member of the Ruysdael Quartet, Gijs Kramers received de Prix de la SACEM at the International String Quartet Competition in Bordeaux in 2001, and the Press Prize and AVRO Prize in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. In December 2006, the Ruysdael Quartet was honoured with the Kersjes van de Groenekan Prize, awarded for their unique contribution to Dutch chamber music. Gijs also works with other chamber groups in London, such as the Tate Ensemble. Performances include Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall London, the Aldeburgh, Bath, Newbury festivals and BBC Radio 3.
“An impressive drama ... The long, continuous lyrical vocal lines are virtuosically sung by Laura Bohn, who gives a moving depiction of the character's desperation and, at the same time, her need to radiate calm towards her child.”
"Lullaby impresses precisely by the simplicity of design in combination with the way on which music and a few simple interventions in the decor magnify the story." - Critics choice; Theaterkrant.nl , 2023