Harawi – A Song of Love and Death

American Modern Opera Company / Julia Bullock – Hamburg International Music Festival

Julia Bullock
Julia Bullock © Allison Michael Orenstein

Tristan of the Andes

A dancing Inca Tristan? The American Modern Opera Company is known for their genre-transcending productions. With the acclaimed soprano Julia Bullock, they now present Olivier Messiaen’s twelve-part cycle »Harawi«, a Peruvian version of the Tristan myth.

Julia Bullock became known to an international audience through her appearance in the »Tiny Desk Concerts« on American National Public Radio, which also featured global stars such as Sting, Adele and Alicia Keys. She gave her Elbphilharmonie debut as part of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s convivial New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day concerts. When she returns in May for the Hamburg International Music Festival, she will be demonstrating the more serious side of her multi-facetted voice.

The composer Olivier Messiaen – who had a wide range of interests, and was a keen ornithologist and synaesthete – composed »Harawi« as a song cycle in 1945. It was inspired by the traditional music of the Andes: in the Inca kingdom, harawi were emotional songs about tragic love, accompanied by flute sounds. Messiaen combines that genre with Richard Wagner’s great opera about the impossible love between the knight Tristan and the princess Isolde, but in a unique, unmistakably multi-coloured tonal language. The American Modern Opera Company now presents the one-hour song cycle as a scenic production.


American Modern Opera Company

Julia Bullock soprano

Conor Hanick piano

Bobbi Jene Smith dance, choreography

Or Schraiber dance, choreography

Mark Grey sound design

John Torres lighting design

Cath Brittan production

Zack Winokur stage direction


Olivier Messiaen
Harawi – Chant d’amour et de mort / Zwölf Lieder für Sopran und Klavier

A production by DE SINGEL, the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the American Modern Opera Company (Cambridge).


Hamburg International Music Festival

Promoter: HamburgMusik

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