Cast & crew:
Tiemo Wang voice & violin
Vitaly Medvedev marimba & dance
Sarah Reynolds dance & voice
Caecilia Thunnissen, stage direction
Leonard Evers compositions
Milena Sidorova choreography
Erin Coppens dramaturg
Tessa Verbei scenography
Merel Marken van Lichtenbelt costumes
Tiedo Wilschut light design
Roos de Bruin, Esther Datema seamstress
Paulina Kropok scenography assistance
Roy van Zon tour production
January - February 2020
WHAT DOES A TICKLE IN YOUR TUMMY SOUND LIKE?
And what happens when that tickle gradually escapes through your mouth, floats on the air, slips through the violin into the marimba, and whoosh, flies into your ears? In a magical visual space, a violin-playing singer, a dancing percussionist and a singing dancer transport you in a light-hearted encounter between dance, music and voice. A children’s concert that tickles all the senses.
Tickle has won the Young Audiences Music Awards (YAMawards) 2020 in the category 'Best Small Ensemble'.
Cappella Amsterdam | Leonard Evers
Amira Medunjanin, vocal soloist
Rima Khcheich, vocal soloist
Ahmed El Maai ud, vocalsoloist
Sabra El Bahri-Khatri vocal soloist
Laura Rodrigues Lopes vocal soloist
Raphaela Danksagmüller duduk, fujara
Beate Loonstra harp|
Misagh Joolaee kamancheh
Modar Salama percussion
Cappella Amsterdam; alBahr conductor/arrangements/artistic leader
‘Western music' and 'arab music' are often considered as opposite terms. However, no clear geographic boundary can be discerned in the areas where these musical traditions have been formed. There is only one sea that causes ‘separation’: the Mediterranean Sea. That is our sea, mare nostrum; alBahr in Arabic.
For centuries this sea has played an important role in trade and in music. Since the ninth century music styles have been developing in areas around the Mediterranean Sea – e.g. Andalusia, the Balkans, Lebanon and the Maghreb - that are basically eclectic and crystallize into unique (vocal) music types. In the different music styles, we hear both Arabic and Western influences.
In alBahr - Mare Nostrum we focus on music types in which this eclecticism is clearly audible. We offer a counterbalance to the classic dualistic East-West contrast; a vision of a rich culture, formed around a fluid center.
Cappella Amsterdam performs with Rima Khcheich, who is an expert in Arabic classical music and Amira Medunjanin, who is a famous interpreter of the Bosnian Sevdah. Ahmed el Maai is a talented musician from Morocco. He plays the kanun, ud and violin, and has his voice as a hidden treasure. The Iranian composer Aftab Darvishi is commissioned by Cappella Amsterdam to write a new work for choir and instrumental soloists, inspired by a poem about the longing for a once-heard voice among the stars.
Opernhaus Zürich; Die Odyssee composition
Family opera for children from 7 years of age
Libretto by Pamela Dürr after Homer’s «Odyssey»
Commissioned by the Opernhaus Zürich
For many years, Penelope has been waiting in Ithaca for her husband Odysseus, who has gone to the Trojan War, to return home. She is beleaguered by foreign men paying court to her and indulging in revelry in the royal palace. Her son Telemachus, who has now grown into a young man, has had enough of the disturbance and wants to have his mother’s suitors expelled. His mother and Eurycleia, his nurse, try to reassure him, as they are firmly convinced that Odysseus will return.
The goddess Athene asks Poseidon to ensure that Odysseus returns home soon. However, the ruler of the seas does not allow the hero and his comrades to arrive so promptly.
Odysseus and his companions are stranded in the land of the peaceful lotus eaters. In their happy and relaxed state, the men forget that they actually intend to go home. Odysseus has to drive them back on board by force.
The comrades hope to find a hospitable reception on the island of the Cyclops. However, they end up in the cave of the one-eyed shepherd Polyphemus, who turns out to be a ravenous monster. The cunning Odysseus manages to get Polyphemus drunk. Together, the comrades cut out the giant’s single eye. They then conceal themselves beneath the fleeces of Polyphemus’s sheep, thus escaping the cave unnoticed. In retribution, Polyphemus’s father Poseidon unleashes a severe storm.
Back on land, Odysseus finds that his companions have been transformed into swine. Circe, the ruler of the island, also wants to cast a spell over Odysseus, but Athene protects him. Circe allows herself to be persuaded and returns Odysseus’s companions to their original form. She advises Odysseus to descend into the Underworld.
In the realm of the dead, Odysseus sees his mother once more. She tells him that Penelope and Telemachus are still alive. Both Achilles, the hero who fell in Troy, and the dead warn Odysseus to leave the cattle of Helios in peace. Full of hope, Odysseus returns to his companions.
The comrades sail past the sirens, who appear to Odysseus as Penelope and Telemachus. To ensure that he is not drawn down into the depths by their alluring song, Odysseus has himself put in chains.
Between the sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis, Poseidon and Athene fight a fierce battle of the gods. Elpenor, the youngest of Odysseus’s companions, loses his life in the process.
Having arrived in Thrinacia, the exhausted Odysseus falls asleep. In the meantime, his hungry comrades slaughter the cattle of the sun god, Helios. As a punishment, the gods unleash a scorching firestorm, of which Odysseus is the only survivor.
Odysseus recovers with the beautiful Calypso, where he stays for seven years. However, he grows increasingly homesick and sets sail for Ithaca.
Penelope has decided that she will accept the man who is able to stretch Odysseus’s bow, but not one of them succeeds in doing so. Odysseus appears as a beggar among the men. Just as he is helping his son Telemachus to stretch the bow, Penelope recognises him. After twenty years, the family is finally reunited.
Vreemde Vogels(6-11 years) is a unique children's concert in the woods. Listen to the singing of the birds, the rustling of the insects and the creaking of the branches. Will you help find the most beautiful sounds from nature?
Dutch National Opera, Opera Zuid & more; Goud! composition
April - June 2022
Composer Leonard Evers and librettist Flora Verbrugge wrote Goud! in 2012 for Theater Sonnevanck. The youth opera became an international success: many opera houses throughout the world put the work in their repertoire. As soon as Sophie de Lint took over as director of Dutch National Opera, she already had the wish for Gold! also to be able to show here. The premiere was postponed several times due to Corona and the performance was forced to premiere online last season; in April 2022 the performance will be shown live in various theatres throughout the Netherlands.
ARIA season I conductor/arrangements/musical leader
October - November 2021
In the first season of ARIA, Omroep MAX is looking for the new opera star of the Netherlands. In the program, ten talented candidates sing the most famous arias every week and they are judged by a professional jury. After eight weeks we’ll discover who is the greatest opera talent in the Netherlands? The candidates are accompanied by the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands conducted by Leonard Evers.
Danny Boy (arr. Leonard Evers)
Tiara (arr. Leonard Evers)
Cappella Amsterdam; Moggûh! concept/compositions/arrangements/musical leader
What does good food sound like? What does it sound like when you're angry? How does sad sound? What does boredom sound like? How do you sing happiness? All matters that will be discussed during the school performance Moggûh! for grades 3 through 5 of primary school.
We follow a 'normal' day in the life of a student in which voice and emotion play the leading role. Children's songs from all over the world and the beautiful choral music from Sweelinck to newly composed music evoke a crazy, moving and magical musical world on stage. Brushing teeth can lead to murmuring and spluttering Bachoraal, a swinging Surinamese count member turns a boring math lesson into a party, a baby is comforted with a beautiful Turkish lullaby and pain is cried out in a virtuoso bel canto aria.
During the performance, the children sing together with the members of Ah, Cappella! and they are enchanted by magically beautiful pieces from the choral repertoire from Sweelinck to Ligeti. We are making this performance with the singers of Ah, Cappella!, director Bart Oomen, education developer Emma Rekers and composer/arranger Leonard Evers, who is also the artistic director of this project.
Festival Vocallis; Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit composition
Commissioned by Festival Vocallis I wrote Gottes Zeit ist die allerbest Zeit for baritone Raoul Steffani and pianist Gerold Huber on a beautiful poem by poet Wiel Kusters.
Dutch National Opera/De Munt; Mathilde Wantenaar’s Lied van de Maan musical coaching
October-November 2021 + October 2023
‘A song for the moon’ is based on the book of the same name by Toon Tellegen, a fable about the power of music. Composer Mathilde Wantenaar adapted the story into a delightful 'my first opera' for young visitors and their parents: with endearing characters, ear-pleasing melodies and numerous humorous references to music history, from opera classics to pop hits. An accessible and layered performance that does exactly what the story is about: moving through music.
Amstel Quartet & Anass Habib; Stories of the Soul arrangements
Together with Moroccan singer Anass Habib, Amstel Quartet delves into the world of Arabic music, full of emotion and poetry. From Fairuz, ‘the cedar of Lebanon’, to the stirring music of Mohammed Abdu, and from the Egyptian father figure Sayid Darwish to the best-known works of the ‘Lady of Cairo’, Um Kalthoum. Stories of the Soul is a wonderful exploration of the Arabic soul.
Leonard Evers made arrangements of classic songs from Fairuz and Sayid Darwish.
CODARTS Contemporary Bigband project 2021 conductor/teaching
This year Contemporary Big Band features with Wiek Hijmans, an acknowledged pioneer on the electric guitar. Renown composers including Christian Wolff and Tristan Murail have written works for him. Wiek has performed solo and as a chamber musician in Europe, Russia, Indonesia, the U.S. with ensembles including the L.A. Chamber Orchestra, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, the Nieuw Ensemble and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. As a composer, he has written over 150 solo pieces for electric guitar, and a number of works for chamber- and theatre ensembles. During this project, you will be playing new compositions from Codarts composers, in which groove and improvisation play an important role. The project will be led by conductor Leonard Evers.
NedPho; Wiebelkonten concept/composition/arrangements/conductor
February 2022 + February 2024
How many times have you heard the phrase "Sit still!"? At home during dinner, in class or maybe on the train. But if you sit still, you don't experience anything, do you? Precise! And that's why we're going to discover what happens when you're not just sitting still, but also looking for adventure, for new things. What does a folding chair sound like? Can you make music with slamming doors? And can you solve the riddles of composer Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations? During this cheerful concert with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, you are the main character of this journey of discovery where nothing is necessary and much is allowed. There is only one small problem: Rutger, the doorman. Nice pear though, but a bit stiff... He doesn't like surprises, he doesn't like chaos, and he certainly doesn't like clutter. Why not? Discover it for yourself during this concert in the Great Hall of the Concertgebouw!
Eric Robillard - regie
Leonard Evers – dirigent en composities
Floortje Schoevaart - tekst
Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest
NPO Koningsdagconcert 2022; new songcycle composition/conductor/presentation
“The light is round and rolls in all directions,” says poet Pierre Kemp (1886 – 1967) in his collection Transitieven en Immobielen. The Light is Round (Het licht is rond) is, according to Kemp biographer Wiel Kusters, one of the most beautiful poems about light that has ever been written. Composer and conductor Leonard Evers has set these and other Kemp texts to music for the annual King’s Day concert, which this year took place on the evening of Monday, 11 April, in the Theater aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht.
The lyrics are part of a song cycle composed of texts by Maastricht poets. It is a new composition that runs like a red thread through the concert. The lyrics are set to music for an ensemble performance by the Philharmonie Zuid and Opera Zuid. Together the compositions form a cycle with the poem Out of the Dark by Wiel Kusters.
From Leonard's song cycle Ik ben overal gek speaks the Limburg way of looking at the world: with 'lightness, humour and a sense of mystery.' Conductor, composer and radio presenter Leonard Evers was given the honour of conducting the King's Day concert in Theater aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht, in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima.
Gustav Mahler is one of the most famous composers ever. Especially for the students of grades 7 and 8, Mahler is alive and kicking again: 'I'm dead? Fake news! My music is timeless, so am I. I sing, I laugh, I dance. Anyone comment?' With the help of a large dose of humor, the students discover mahler's music and life story.
Singers; Marc Pantus & Merlijn Runia
Libretto; Floortje Schoevaart
Director; Pepijn Cladder
Conductor; Leonard Evers
Arrangments/compositions; Leonard Evers & Hugo Bouma
Baritone Thomas Oliemans started singing along with the greats of the French life songs as a boy thanks to his father's record collection. Now celebrated opera singer and guest in the largest opera houses in the world, he returns in this program with Amsterdam Sinfonietta to one of his first loves: the French chanson. Well-known and unknown chansons from Jacques Brel to Claude François and from Charles Trenet to Stromae, and classical works for strings by Ravel, Rameau, Debussy and Fauré, show the unmistakable French sound through the centuries.
Opernhaus Hannover; Humanoid composition
After the death of his girlfriend, robot designer Jonah creates the perfect woman for himself in the form of the android Alma. But once she has developed a consciousness of her own, she claims her right to a self-determined existence. A struggle for life and death ensues between human and machine – and for the question of what it actually means to be human.
With the German premiere of Humanoid, the State Opera Hanover presents a highly topical musical thriller by Leonard Evers, one of today’s most successful composers of young opera. His piece ranges across genres with great flexibility, while staying true to a very specific sound language. Jonah’s friend Piet, for instance, launches into a kind of musical song in his enthusiasm about Jonah’s coding skills, while the passages where Jonah believes himself to be pursued by his dead girlfriend are a musically sinister nightmare. There are rapid shifts between apparently harmless chatter and dangerously lurking, rhythmically pulsating surfaces that swell menacingly and rise into veritable sound waves. The android’s learning processes are uncontrollable. The game of artificial intelligence may capsize and become bitterly serious at any time. We humans are no more capable of escaping our consciousness than the android can escape her programming. Our only choice is to trust our perception of the world and to base our decisions on this foundation. So how can be sure that we ourselves are “real” humans – and not merely “humanoid”?
Science fiction-opera by Leonard Evers (*1985)
Libretto by Pamela Dürr
A production of Internationales Opernstudio
Consolacão for the Ricciotti ensemble composition
De Mooiste Maten van de Matthäus
Project with GURI stringorchestra and Ricciotti ensemble São Paulo conductor/teaching
Tour São Paulo from 2 – 10 juli 2022
Music is inclusive by nature. Live music invites people to gather and engage in a collective yet highly personal experience. However, the performance-rituals in music are sometimes used to create more difference instead of connection. In the complex sociological and economic context of Brazil classical music for instance has been serving the economic elite and baile funk on the other hand is seen as incompatible with classical music, presumably belonging to the world of poor neighborhoods. This social-hierarchical context is limiting the potential of music in terms of inclusivity and connection. With this project we celebrate the unifying force of music by bringing it into public space without any threshold to enjoy and connect. Santa Marcelina Cultura and Leonard Evers, with Dutch Culture and the Ricciotti ensemble as partners, create an orchestra playing for and belonging to everyone in São Paulo.
The orchestra will contain students from Projecto Guri, EMESP and members of the Ricciotti ensemble. The students will be invited to actively re-think the role of music and musicians in society and will experience what music can do in connecting to different audiences. The project will work in two ways; it will contribute to an inclusive public space and it stimulates development of young musical talent into open-minded, creative and socially engaged musicians.