Alastair White’s ‘WOAD’ to Get World Premiere Screening this June

By David Salazar

Alastair White’s “WOAD” is set to premiere on June 16, 2021 at Goldsmiths, University of London.

The fashion opera stars soprano Kelly Poukens, saxophonist Suzy Vanderheiden, and features the fashion of Renli Su. The work was created at the Cultuurcentrum Achterolmen in Belgium during the COVID-19 lockdown.

White is the composer of such operas as “ROBE” and “WEAR.”

“[‘WOAD’]engages these themes by further developing the compositional methodology devised in the creation of ‘WEAR‘ and ‘ROBE’,” White stated in a press release. “For this particular piece, we attempted to create a sense of material objectivity in the phenomenological apprehensions of the listener. This is achieved through the overlay of different compositional methodologies that each imply mutually exclusive approaches of listening. It is hoped that this interpretive complexity allows the listener a series of different paths and perspectives: a constantly changing experience that is marked by the collapse of other possibilities.

“This was expanded throughout the process in collaboration with Kelly and Suzy, where we attempted to radically incorporate contingency into every aspect of the work. We are trying to find a way of dramatizing absolute change, and the potential this implies, without it being neutralized to mere indeterminacy or simply another referent within the work’s limits.”

Poukens recent performances include “King Lear” at the Holland Opera as well as solo recitals at the Henry Le Boeuf Hall.