Haydn’s ‘Creation’ to feature wire, water tank and video mapping

By Im Eun-byel

Soprano says experimental production highlights music via visual art

  • Published : Feb 21, 2019 - 14:53
  • Updated : Feb 21, 2019 - 14:53

Haydn’s legendary 1798 oratorio “The Creation” will be put on stage by La Fura dels Baus, an experimental theater troupe from Spain, at Art Center Incheon on March 1 and 2, offering both a musical and visual treat.

The production depicts the Biblical seven days of creation with visual art installations. The soloists are lifted up in the air, then submerged in a water tank, and the choristers hold up tablet computers.

Soprano Im Sun-hae speaks during a press conference held Wednesday at a restaurant in central Seoul. (Art Center Incheon)
Haydn’s “The Creation” produced by La Fura dels Baus (Claudia Hoehne)

Soprano Im Sun-hae, who will be taking to the stage in the upcoming performances, also performed in the show in June 2017 at Elbphilharmonie, a concert venue in Hamburg, Germany.

“Haydn’s ‘The Creation’ is my favorite oratorio. My first recording in German was ‘The Creation,’ too. Being attached to the piece, I agreed to take part in the production right away (at the time),” Im said at a press conference held in central Seoul on Wednesday. 

Soprano Im Sun-hae speaks during a press conference held Wednesday at a restaurant in central Seoul. (Art Center Incheon)

As a singer, however, Im had her doubts about the production because the emphasis seemed to be on the visual elements, rather than the music.

“Before the rehearsal, I received an email about whether I will be OK with submerging in water, if I were afraid of heights,” the soprano said.

“I asked, ‘how long I should stay up in the air, how long I would have to sing after my hair gets wet?’ If I catch a cold, I would not be able to sing at the next performance. But I also answered, ‘I am a singer who is open to adventures.’”

Arriving at the rehearsal, Im was surprised, seeing the 9-meter-high crane and 1,000-liter water tank. But she eventually understood what the Spanish troupe wanted to express with the equipment and was touched by the troupe’s consideration for the singers.

“Most of all, I was attracted by La Fura dels Baus’ adventurousness, the willingness to create a performance that had not existed before,” Im said.

Conductor Kim Sung-jin, who will be leading the upcoming Incheon performances with Camerata Antiqua Seoul and Grande Opera Chorus, expressed his excitement about the performances.

“I watched a video of the production and I could not take my eyes off of it,” Kim said.

Tickets can be reserved via online retailer Interpark. For more information, call Art Center Incheon at (032) 453-7700 or visit its website at www.aci.or.kr.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)