27.6.2016, 20:30, Coal Mine Hlubina
PETR KOTÍK: WILLIAM WILLIAM
libretto: Petr Kotík
director: Katharina Schmitt
choreographer: Lucie Hayashi
conductor: Petr Kotík
5 dancers, 3 singers, narrrator and violin duo
String Noise, violin duo:
Pauline Kim Harris
In Czech-English version
William William is a dance opera that is a piece of music theater in which the on-stage action consists entirely of dance. The theatrical element is non-narrative, as it is danced instead. The dramatic content / meaning is ambiguous, ranging from abstract to suggestive choreography. The singers and narrator perform along with the music and do not participate theatrically on stage. The subject of William William deals with situation(s) of unforeseen turn of events that fundamentally change the condition of human existence. The libretto (sung and narrated) has been adapted by Petr Kotik from three different sources: Timon of Athens (1608) by William Shakespeare, short quotations by Pablo Picasso, and a short excerpt from an autobiographical text by Natalie Babel, the daughter of the Russian poet Isaac Babel.
Composer, conductor and flutist Petr Kotík (1942) studied in Prague and Vienna. In 1961, while still a student at the Prague Conservatory, he founded the ensemble Musica viva Pragensis, which he directed until 1964. After returning from Vienna, Kotik founded and directed the QUaX Ensemble (1966- 69). In 1970, upon arrival to the U.S. he founded the S.E.M. Ensemble, which expanded into the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble in 1992. In 1997, Kotik initiated the festival “Music of Extended Duration,” organized by the office of President Václav Havel at the Prague Castle. He is an artistic director of the biennial Ostrava Days New Music Institute and Festival (from 2001), international chamber orchestra Ostravská banda (from 2005) and biennial NODO / New Opera Days Ostrava (from 2012). From early in his career, Kotik’s focus has been divided between composition and performance. Although he studied composition – first privately in Prague with Vladimír Šrámek and Jan Rychlík, then later at the Akademie der Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna with Karl Schieske (1963-66) – it could be said that Kotik is a self-taught composer. Ideas and concepts of John Cage, and later R. Buckminster Fuller influenced Kotik from his early stages. Kotik’s compositional strategy could be compared to a game in which chance alternates with direct compositional decisions. The use of chance has always been a vehicle for removing attention from oneself, to accept unpredictable elements that may arise unpredictably.