Karakorum: a medieval musical journey
Narrated by David Wenham
Featuring Ensemble La Camera delle Lacrime from France
with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Choir
“Karakorum is absolutely ancient yet altogether new,” says Artistic Director Paul Dyer about the upcoming tour with France’s La Camera delle Lacrime and Australian actor David Wenham as narrator.
“I saw Karakorum performed by La Camera delle Lacrime at a stunning monastery in France’s Auvergne region and was totally blown away by the experience. I was so excited and inspired that I ran backstage after and asked Bruno and Khaï-dong, the artistic directors, if they would travel to Australia to perform it with the Brandenburg,” says Paul.
"Karakorum had me hooked from the first notes, both musically and spiritually. It has a powerful mix of Western renaissance music, Christian psalms, Mongolian melodies, Buddhist hymns and Sufi chants. It absolutely took my breath away.”
Karakorum reimagines the music encountered by 13th-century Flemish monk William of Rubruck on his epic Silk Road journey from Constantinople to Karakorum (the ancient capital of the Mongol empire) just 20 years earlier than the journey of Marco Polo.
When Karakorum is restaged in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from 25 July, Australian audiences will experience something very different to what has been seen by European audiences.
“I wanted to introduce an English narration to guide us through Rubruck’s great journey, and I imagined the voice of David Wenham,” says Paul. “I’m happy to announce that David Wenham has come on board for this project, which is a dream come true. I’m excited about the chance to collaborate with one of Australia’s great acting talents on such a unique and theatrical project.”
This new production of Karakorum La Camera delle Lacrime and Paul Dyer will include five musicians and five singers from the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Choir.
Sydney theatre and opera director Constantine Costi (known to Brandenburg audiences through his work on Handel's Messiah and Bittersweet Obsessions) will direct and his brother Michael Costi, a recent playwriting graduate of NIDA, has written the new English narration.
For this musical journey from west to east, La Camera delle Lacrime will perform on an array of rare and ancient instruments, including the erhu (a Chinese two stringed fiddle), kamanche (an Iranian bowed string instrument), cornamuse (a double reed instrument dating from the Renaissance period) and a vielle à roue (a French hurdy gurdy).
City Recital Hall
Wednesday 25 July 7pm
Friday 27 July 7pm
Saturday 28 July 7pm
Wednesday 1 August 7pm
Friday 3 August 7pm
Matinee: Saturday 28 July 2pm
Melbourne Recital Centre
Saturday 4 August 7pm
Sunday 5 August 5pm
Concert Hall, QPAC
Tuesday 7 August 7:30pm
LA CAMERA DELLE LACRIME
Bruno Bonhoure Music Director & voice
Khaï-dong Luong Concept & Staging
Mokrane Adlani violin, voice
Martin Bauer kamanche
Michèle Claude percussion
Yan Li Erhu, voice
Christophe Tellart flutes, hurdy-gurdy, cornamuse
Paul Dyer AO Artistic Director and keyboard
David Wenham Narrator
Constantine Costi Director
Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
Brandenburg Chamber Choir
John Raymond Lighting Designer
Michael Costi English Text
More about Bruno Bonhoure & Khaï-dong Luong
Singer Bruno Bonhoure and scenic director Khaï-dong Luong are the joint artistic directors of La Camera delle Lacrime.
Their first collaboration in 2003 led to the creation of a musical animated short film which was selected by Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
Together, they founded the ensemble La Camera delle Lacrime in 2005. They fashion their shows out of historical sources from the Middle Ages, essentially from the 12th and 13th centuries, crafting a contemporary view, performing in France in landmark festivals and venues of classical and early music such as: Philharmonie de Paris, Festival de la Chaise-Dieu, Fondation Royaumont, National theatres and opera houses.
Bruno Bonhoure (musical director, vocal soloist) says: “We performed our Karakorum concert in the La Chaise-Dieu, one on the most important French classical music festivals, and Paul Dyer was in the audience. After the concert, he proposed that we travel to Australia to form a partnership and we were immediately excited about this idea. We’d like to thank Paul for making a new dream coming true for us by offering us the opportunity to play Karakorum with the musicians from Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Choir.”
Khaï-dong Luong (direction and artistic conception) says: “At La Camera delle Lacrime, our artistic inspiration for performing Early music is lead by the search of a kind of primitive gesture - comparable to the idea of first humankind ceremonial, ritual, or rock arts - and the desire of porosity between different cultures. With its ancient culture and current mix of people of so many heritages and religions, Australia seems to be an unlimited explorable land for those two inspirations. We’re very excited!”
Recording of KARAKORUM
Download audio files for airplay HERE
The concert program
Ay! Deus | Austorg d’Aurillac (1225-1291) - Troubadour Song
La mer de Pont (The Black Sea) – Melody from the Caucasus
Sri Devi Ashtottara Shata Namavalih – Buddhist hymn
Loving the beauty of Layla - Sufi Chant
Pos ancno-us ualc amors | Bertran de Lamanon (1210-1270) - Troubadour Song in Occitan
Ural - melody of the sacred mountain
Miserere mei Deus – Psalm, Gregorian chant
Vexilla Rigis – Gregorian Chant and Muslim call to prayer
Salve Regina – Marian antiphon, Gregorian Chant
Credo in unum Deum - Gregorian Chant
Heart beating in the steppes - Mongolian Chant
Ave Regina Coelorum - Marian antiphon - Gregorian Chant
A solis ortus cardine | Sedulius (c 430) - Gregorian Chant
Tang Tang – Mongolian melody
Chanson à boire (Drinking song) – Mongolian Melody
Veni Sancte Spiritus - Sequence for Pentecost, Gregorian chant
Vision of the Beloved – Sufi chant
The debate at Karakorum | Bruno Bonhoure and Khaï-dong Luong
Veni Veni Emmanuel - Gregorian Chant
With hearts high - Melody from Kyrgyzstan
Find out more about Rubruck's journey
The Mission of Friar William of Rubruck
His Journey to the Court of the Great Khan Mongke,
Translated by Peter Jackson
Find it at Booktopia