OPER.A.20.21 2018-19 Review: Dionysos Rising

Rusconi, who is the “Artist in Residence 2019” for the Haydn Foundation of Bolzano and Trento, has an eclectic and experimental style, with a focus on the relationship between space and sound; in particular he explores how amplified sound can be used to create and aid the theatrical experience.

For “Dionysos Rising,” Rusconi uses a mixture of acoustic and electronic sound, making use of a small orchestra, consisting of 15 acoustic instruments, hidden behind a screen, with their sound amplified through 16 speakers positioned around the theatre, overlaid with pre-recorded playback electronic music and rumbling noises, brass and a small chorus of four voices. The aim was to surround the audience and immerse it in the “ideal” sound, one which it can feel and hear, but not see, with the orchestra kept out of sight so as to remove it as a focal point. The music is mostly discordant and disjointed, composed with many short phrases, from which occasionally emerge the voices of individual instruments and harsh rasping electronic sounds.

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