Learn more about NEC's production of Ana Sokolović's Svadba-Wedding as it opens tonight, Thursday, November 18 and runs through Sunday, November 21.
The NEC production of Ana Sokolović's Svadba-Wedding is a uniquely modern selection for six female voices in a cappella style. Based on Serbian folklore and poetry, the opera tells a timeless story of community and ritual through sound and texture.
In advance of opening night tonight, November 18, we spoke to Joshua Major, NEC's Chair of Opera Studies, who shared some interesting facts about this production at NEC and how it was selected. We also share photos by Andrew Hurlbut (NEC) and Laurie Swope from rehearsals as a preview of this colorful opera.
Joshua Major: "We picked this opera for many reasons: An opera without an orchestra means less people in the theatre which, at this moment in COVID, seemed prudent. This was also an opportunity to challenge our singers and to expand their vocabulary of what opera is and what it could be. Singers are challenged with difficult music, different kinds of demands on their voices, and different ways of working. All to help prepare them for the modern world of opera.”
"We have never, as far as I can recall, staged anything quite like this. This is not a piece with a traditional, straightforward narrative. It depends on community, ritual and sound."
"We elected not to provide surtitles (translated lyrics/dialogue projected above a stage) for this production. (However, the full text is in the program.) The opera is a brilliant soundscape and the story unfolds in its rhythmic and harmonic language. We felt that titles would prevent us from entering that world. When we read text we automatically want to see it reflected literally on the stage."
"The opera works as a combination of the abstract, the literal, the physical and the aural, and we want the audience to get swept up in this world and not worry about the literal. My own experience has been relief that I don’t have to worry about words, leaving me free to respond to sounds."
For tickets, livestream access, and to get more details—including more about the two casts and English translations for the text—visit the Svadba-Wedding concert page.