Have you ever sung someone to sleep?
Imagine your voice being drowned out by the sound of protests on the street outside.
A mother struggles to find the right song to lull her baby, her attempts lost in the chanting coming through the window. Her baby's restlessness grows with the urgency of the revolution. How can she bring him peace in the midst of a fight for his very future?
Lullaby follows a mother on an unlikely search for peace in a moment of collective chaos. Unable to sleep she ventures out into the night, baby in arms, and what unfolds is a confronting and spontaneous journey. Her path intertwines with others in a lighthearted twist delivering the lullaby she needs and her own evolution in the process.
Lullaby is a one woman opera written for acclaimed soprano Laura Bohn. 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. Guillermo Calderón's writing evokes a struggle between the inner and outer world which is playful, at times absurd, hopeful, and unflinchingly honest. 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.
Soprano Laura Bohn, "an amazing blend of vocal splendor and physical virtuosity'' (San Francisco Chronicle).
Music by Kamala Sankaram, "A strikingly original artist" (New York Times).
Libretto by Guillermo Calderón; "there’s a freshness and forcefulness to Calderón’s work, which marries the urgency of politics to the playful joy of theatremaking.” (American Theatre).
Lullaby will receive its world premiere in '23-'24 touring major theaters around the Netherlands including a premiere at the O. Festival (former Operadagen Rotterdam). The U.S. premiere will take place at Festival Opera in California in the summer of 2023. Lullaby will perform at the O-Lab at the O Festival in 2022 in a work-in-progress presentation.
The Creative Team
Kamala Sankaram, composer
Praised as “strikingly original” (NY Times) and with a “seemingly endless ability to birth beautiful, memorable melodic motives and weave them together dramatically” (LA Weekly)", 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.
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, The Duchess in Adés' Powder her Face, Elle in La Voix Humaine, Marzelline in Fidelio, and a dancing and singing Nerone in a hip-hop adaptation of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea. Upcoming projects include the witch in a radical adaptation of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel with Silbersee Opera and in Anne LeBaron's new opera LSD: Huxley's Last Trip embodying the psychedelic LSD.
Gijs Kramers, Violist
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.
Sjaron Minailo, Director
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 specialized in 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 Operadagen Rotterdam, Holland Festival, Opera La Monnaie, de Nationale Opera, Bergen National Opera, Poznan Opera, Rara Festival Krakau and Tempo Festival Rio de Janeiro.
Lullaby is an evening length performance of 55 minutes in English (Nederlands boventiteling mogelijk).
The technical set up is flexible: Full theatrical production includes a set needing 6x8 square meters, basic lighting plan and sound system. The simplified version for site specific venues needs only speakers.