World Premiere of a collaborative opera in January 2017 at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, NY.
Companion Star’s mission is to create, produce and present new music theatre works for the stage that reflect the diversity of the world. We are companions to the creative process and artists within our community and around the globe.
Nine of Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer’s poems serve as the foundation of dream seminar/drömseminarium—a devised music theatre piece created with 22 artists from 7 countries through improvisation.
In his poems, Tranströmer challenges us to explore the absurdity, bleakness, and humor of contemporary life and illuminates glowing treasures that lie beneath our mundane world, treasures which preserve our dreams and humanity.
“Four thousand million on earth. They all sleep, they all dream.”
“Fyra miljarder människor på jorden. Och alla sover, alla drömmer.”
Tomas Tranströmer, Drömseminarium
dream seminar/drömseminarium is far more than a musical setting of these potent texts. It is the result of a cumulative collaboration; an intimate creative process that developed what might have been a singular perspective on Tranströmer’s poetry into a multi-cultural, collective response. All of the artists have contributed their own voices in the form of raw creative material that has been shaped musically by composer Ellen Lindquist, with a scenario created by stage director Pat Diamond and soprano Kathleen Flynn. The result is a fluid, non-linear music theatre work in which myriad musical voices mirror the multiple perspectives of the poems.
The evening begins in the familiar way a chamber music performance might: chairs and stands on a stage with minimal scenery. But like the poems, the familiar quickly changes into a very different experience when the ensemble leaves their music stands and “tune” in a group movement piece. The cast and scenery transform and challenges what we believe is really happening.
This 90-minute work is framed by this idea of transformation as we follow an artist/Everyman, (we call him Mats), whose lazy late-morning dreaminess transports us to different reflective spaces of his memories, each articulated by one of Tranströmer’s poems. The ensemble interacts with him, creating images physically and sonically, stringing potent moments together, which provide glimpses into the artist’s psyche.
Six in-depth development workshops, three in Sweden and three in the USA, have been held since 2007. All of the workshops culminated in work-in-progress performances; in 3 of these the audience participated in an improvisation that has influenced the final piece.
Development support has been provided by the Swedish Government, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the BMI Foundation, the Agler-Rice Foundation, the EGC Group and by individual donors.
In addition to creating dream seminar/drömseminarium, Companion Star has produced and co-produced three previous productions, including the multi-nominated, critically acclaimed Under Milk Wood, an opera. We have also produced 25 public concerts of new music in Europe and the USA. Bringing dream seminar/drömseminarium to the USA is our major priority.
Start and End Dates
01/02/2017 — 01/14/2017
Bellport, New York