LA Opera today launches the world premiere of Between the Rooms, the next film in their Digital Shorts series, which features new music commissioned by Anna Clyne, featuring the poetry of Emily Dickinson.
The film is directed and choreographed by Kim Brandstrup and will premiere today, Friday, May 13, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. PST, and is available to stream now on LA Opera’s On Now digital platform. Photos from Between the Rooms can be viewed and downloaded here.
In this haunting new film, composer Anna Clyne explores themes of isolation through her setting of Dickinson’s verses, scored for soprano and string quintet. Between the Rooms features soprano Joélle Harvey; internationally acclaimed dancers Alina Cojocaru, who has performed as principal dancer with the Hamburg Ballet, Royal Ballet London and English National Ballet, and Matthew Ball, principal dancer with the Royal Ballet London; and members of Brooklyn-based music collective The Knights. Eric Jacobsen leads the project.
“The themes of loneliness and creativity resonate with the current experience of forced isolation as a result of the pandemic,” explains Anna Clyne. “Emily Dickinson rarely left her home in the last two decades of her life and Between the Rooms evokes the audible realm that envelops this solitary figure and explores her journey from solitude to an imaginary world by weaving melodic fragments with statements resembling to hymns that are conjured by the instrumentation of the string quintet with soprano voice.”
“When the shooting date finally arrived in early May 2021, when the masks and the distance were abandoned, the exhilaration of the dancers being able to move and touch each other freely again was palpable”, explains Kim Brandstrup. “It was Alina and Matthew’s first time dancing together and the chemistry was instantaneous – the liberating sense of physical closeness and touch was unmistakable and very moving. Emily Dickinson’s solitary life was a clear and personal choice and the film celebrates his poetry’s powerful ability to evoke the physical world outside the room – a celebration of our ability to evoke, through poetry, music, movement, an imaginary otherness even when we are alone in our bedrooms.”
Between the Rooms was commissioned by LA Opera and is generously supported by a consortium of donors from LA Opera’s Contemporary Opera Initiative, chaired by Nancy and Barry Sanders. The film was originally scheduled to be released on December 10, 2021.
Presented on LA Opera’s On Now digital platform, the Digital Shorts series brings cutting-edge opera to audiences around the world. Between the Rooms is the 11th film in a particularly diverse series, launched in December 2020. The three films released during the 2021-22 season tackle themes relevant to our times: the mass incarceration of black men (The First Bluebird of the Morning, released September 2021), social justice (We Hold These Truths, March 2022) and isolation (Between the Rooms). Films in the series went on to win awards at international film festivals and were televised on TCM. All films in the series can be viewed at LAOpera.org/DigitalShorts.
Between the rooms
Friday, May 13, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. PST
Anna Clyne, composer
Kim Brandstrup, director/choreographer
Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Joelle Harvey, soprano
Alina Cojocaru, dancer
Matthew Ball, dancer
Eric Jacobsen, violin
Kristi Helberg, violin
Mario Gotoh, viola
Caitlin Sullivan, cello
Logan Coale, bass