George Aperghis is perhaps out on his own in the contemporary music field in terms of theatrical composition. Even his instrumental concert works inhabit a zone of politicised, spectral drama. Reminiscent at times of Kagel, at others of Sciarrino, even Furrer, Aperghis’s work is at its best more measured and more hauntingly modern in affect than any of them.

His monologic opera Ismène is based on the poem of the same name by his fellow Greek, Yannis Ritsos. Premiered in 2008 as part of Belgium’s Ars Musica festival, it represents a unique collaboration between actor/singer (Marianne Pousseur), director (Enrico Bagnoli), and composer. Read my full review of tongiht’s revival in Brussels’ Balsamine Theatre here.


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