Soundstreams To World Premiere Vivier’s ‘Musik fur das Ende’ As Part of Canada’s 150th Anniversary Celebration

By Logan Martell

Canadian production company Soundstreams will be presenting the world premiere of “Musik fur das Ende,” which follows the life of Quebecois composer Claude Vivier and draws upon his various works. The production will run from Oct. 27 to Nov. 4 as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebration.

“Musik fur das Ende” will be a three-part show staged in Crow’s Theatre, a locale which features seating on four sides to allow for an encompassing experience for audiences. Among Soundstreams’ production crew are director Chris Abraham, music director John Hess, playwright Zack Russell, designer Judith Bowden, lighting designer Kim Purtell, and sound designer Adam Scime.

Artistic director Lawrence Cherney says of the production: “Vivier lived a dangerous life—at the very edge of human experience—from there, he brought back a new sound, the sound of eternity. This production powerfully probes the relationship between the man and the music like no other has ever done before.”

The first part of the performance will feature an original monologue comprised from Vivier’s letters and diary entries, tied together by playwright Zack Russel and delivered by actor Alex Ivanovici in the role of Claude Vivier.

The second part will be a presentation of Vivier’s “Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele” (Do You Believe in the Immortality of the Soul?), which is his final work before he was tragically murdered. This part will feature tenor Owen McCausland and soprano Adanya Dunn, along with a vocal ensemble, percussion, and synthesizers to capture a premonition of Vivier’s death.

The third part of the show, “Musik fur das Ende,” is described as a “ritual journey through life and death to a final ecstatic state—a rebirth beyond all conceptions of life and death. Conceived for a vocal ensemble (playing handheld percussion) and one actor, the challenging score for Musik für das Ende relies heavily on “chance music” and demands a high level of interaction and some nuanced improvisation as performers are instructed to exchange musical information on stage.”

Being supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, this project will no doubt leave a powerful impression on audiences as they celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada.