Kopernikus
Composer: Claude Vivier
Composer Bio: Many consider Claude Vivier the greatest composer Canada has yet produced. At the age of 34, he was the victim of a shocking murder, leaving behind some 49 compositions in a wide range of genres, including opera, orchestral works, and chamber pieces. György Ligeti once called Vivier "the finest French composer of his generation."

Born in Montréal, Vivier studied at the Conservatoire de Musique. In the fall of 1976 a visit to Bali caused Vivier to reevaluate his ideas concerning the role of the artist in society, initiating a new period in his stylistic evolution. In the wake of this journey he wrote Shiraz for piano, Orion for orchestra, and his opera Kopernikus. Above all, it was in his cycle of pieces for voice and instrumental ensemble, particularly Lonely Child (1980) and Prologue pour un Marco Polo (1981) that Vivier's unique style crystallized. In a New York Times profile, Paul Griffiths observed, "The harmonic auras are suddenly more complex, and the fantastic orchestration is unlike anything in Vivier's earlier music, or anyone else's…”

Vivier advocates include Mauricio Kagel, Kent Nagano, Reinbert de Leeuw, David Robertson, and Dawn Upshaw. Vivier's music featured prominently in Holland Festival 2005, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra opened its 2005-06 season with Lonely Child, with David Robertson conducting and Dawn Upshaw as the soprano soloist. In 2005, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra inaugurated the Claude Vivier National Prize for the best work by a Canadian composer.
Librettist: Claude Vivier
Other Artistic Personnel: Lorraine Viallancourt (Conductor)
Work Web Site: http://www.boosey.com/pages/opera/moreDetails.asp?musicID=47743
Premiere Date: August 05, 1980
Producing Company: l’Atelier de jeu scénique de la Faculté de Musique de l’Université de Montréal
Description: In this ‘mystic tale’ the central character Agni – named after a Hindu deity – calls on historical and mythical figures: Lewis Carroll, Merlin, a witch, the Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an old monk, Tristan, Isolde, Mozart, the Lord of the Waters, Copernicus and his mother. Is Agni merely dreaming that they are present? Are they no more than figments of her imagination? Or are they memories of the human archetypes that accompanied her during her ritual initiation? Agni dematerializes.
Reviews: Opera Canada, Paula Citron, 9/22/2001; La Scena Musicales, Joseph So, 6/29/2001; La Folia, Grant Chu Covell, 2/2010;
Length: 01:07
Total Acts: 1
Orchestration: 1 ob, 3 cl - 1 tpt, 1tbn - perc(played by singers):tam-t/Balinese gong/rin gongs/ant.cyms/t.bells - vln
Contact: Hendon Music / Boosey & Hawkes
Address: 229 W 28th Street, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
E-mail Address: composers.us@boosey.com
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site: http://www.boosey.com
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