US premiere of Bent Lorentzen's 'Pergolesi's Home Service'

US premiere of Bent Lorentzen's 'Pergolesi's Home Service'
Bent Lorentzen
© Martin Mydtskov Rønne
In Pergolesi's Home Service 'La Serva Padrona' has been mangled in the wringer so that a grotesquely funny modern cabaret has been extracted from the old story.

So what happens to a tiny little opera company, when the arts are no longer so generously funded? In Bent Lorentzen’s opera Pergolesi’s Home Service, Impresario Umberto Pergolesi has created a mobile opera company that will perform pint sized productions in your own home: Norma in your roof garden, Tosca in your dining room, La Traviata in your bedroom or even Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman in your bathroom. Pergolesi’s Home Service is a sophisticated new version of the Baroque Opera La Serva Padrona.

Bent Lorentzen studied at Aarhus University and at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with Finn Høffding and Vagn Holmboe, exponents of the post-Nielsen Danish tradition of the 1950s. In contrast to his Danish colleagues who became involved in the ‘New Simplicity’ movement of the 1960s, Lorentzen embraced the complexity of the avant garde, using serialism and formal systems to expressive effect, and adding live performance elements to combat the dryness of purely electronic music. By coaxing new sounds out of traditional instruments and exploiting the huge expressive scope of the human voice, Lorentzen creates a ‘sonic’ music, which places the emphasis on sound rather than structure. He has flirted with various styles, but their impact has not deprived his music of its personality and individuality of expression. He often collaborates with Michael Leinert who co-wrote the libretto for Pergolesi. School of Music faculty member Susan Owen-Leinert wrote the English translation of the work.

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