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chamber opera

A.M. is a love story about sound.

composer, director Arnoud Noordegraaf
writer Adrian Hornsby
premiere 9 Jun 2011, Theatre Frascati, Amsterdam, Holland Festival
link to A.M. microsite

‘a magical, moving, and betimes funny show’
— NRC Handlesblad

‘a poetic performance that subtly balances stylised cinematography with modern opera […] as you watch you spin the story for yourself, like a dream landscape in your head’
— Brabants Dagblad

Yoshi, a recent college drop-out, is obsessed with recording the secret music of Tokyo at night. He’s also obsessed with pink cakes, clementine peel, the disappearance of time, breasts, and the silence directed at him by his father. Riding a torrent of thoughts, he goes out with a contact microphone to feel for hidden echoes and reverberations.

Kyoko, a girl from Hokkaido, is wandering the city in search of her adult self. Caught between introversion and a desire to be understood, she feels oddly adrift within her own body. Ever since a childhood illness affected her hearing, she has been haunted by the sound of a woman singing — a beautiful voice coming from nowhere, seemingly trapped behind glass, without air …

A.M. is a rich meditation upon time, sound, being, and being nineteen.

‘Sound of Tokyo. Sound of the streets at night. Sound of trains. Shoes walking, lungs breathing. The hiss of a bottle opening. Sound of ice cubes in a glass. Elevators rising, keyboards clicking, fingers tapping, pipes knocking. A man blowing his nose in G. A cat scratching a sofa. The sound of music through fifteen different walls. The sound of rice pouring into a rice cooker …’

‘I am a thought passing through the atoms of your body. You are a thought passing through the atoms of your body. All things are thoughts, passing through bodies, in a sea of floating time.’

Soprano: Mikae Natsuyama, soprano
Yoshi: Tetsuro Takei
Kyoko: Mariko Tsuboi
clarinets: Michel Marang
trombone: Koen Kaptein
violin: Marleen Wester
bass: Jelte van Andel
set and light design: Bart Visser
film supporting cast: Madama Ishibashi, Tomohiro Inumaru, Masachi Maruyama, Jeremy Harley
director of photography: Rick Stout
editor: Arnoud Noordegraaf
assistant editor: Bas Voorwinde
composed and directed by Arnoud Noordegraaf
written by Adrian Hornsby
produced by Roland Spekle for Barooni in collaboration with November Music
funded by: Fonds Podiumkunsten, SNS Reaal Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Adèle Wickert Fonds, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
sponsored by: STEIM, Smart Project Space
  • 13-15 Nov 2010, Verkadefabriek, Den Bosch, Holland, November Music Festival (pre-premiere)
  • 22 Jan 2011, Theater Kikker, Utrecht, Holland
  • 19 Mar 2011, Intro in Situ, Ainsi theater Maastricht, Holland
  • 28 Apr 2011, Korzo theater, Den Haag, Holland
  • 9 May 2011, Cultuurcentrum, Hasselt, Belgium
  • 9, 10 Jun 2011, Theater Frascati, Amsterdam, Holland Festival 2011 (premiere)
  • 5, 6, 7 Aug 2011, Verkadefabriek, Den Bosch, Holland, Boulevard Festival
  • 26 Aug 2011, Grand Theatre, Groningen, Holland, Noorderzon Festival
  • 27 Jan 2012, Plaza Futura, Eindhoven, Holland
  • 2, 4 Nov 2012, Auditorium Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
  • 24 May 2014, Festival van Vlaanderen, Kortrijk, Belgium
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