Exaudi - Russia: Today (New Music Weekend)

Sunday, 14 January 2024 - 6:00pm
£20 regular / £5 students / weekend pass)

New Music Weekend: Main Event Page

New Music Weekend Finale

6pm Concert
EXAUDI

JAMES WEEKS DIRECTOR

RUSSIA: TODAY A 'DOCUMENTARY OPERA' BY EUGENE BIRMAN

The Sunday evening finale to our January New Music Weekend profiles Eugene Birman’s remarkable ‘documentary opera’, RUSSIA: TODAY. Birman and his librettist Scott Diel based the text on more than 500 interviews with members of the public in Moscow, Vladivostok, Riga, Helsinki and a host of other countries close to Russia. The interviewees were asked for their thoughts about Russia’s identity, particularly in relation to its former status as the central part of the Soviet Union and the sense at that time that Russia was seeking to expand its borders again, as shown by what happened in Crimea in 2014. These authentic texts were translated and reordered to form a 70-minute choral work that plays on the idea of a traditional Russian Orthodox panikhida, a form of requiem prayer for the soul after death. The opera, written in 2021, is all the more hard-hitting in the light of Putin’s subsequent invasion of Ukraine. Tonight’s film showing will be framed by Martyn Harry’s two choruses for EXAUDI, ‘Our Separate Ways’. The evening concludes with a post-concert discussion with Jade McGlynn, the author of two key books published this year: ‘Russia’s War’ and ‘Memory Makers’.

20:00 Post-Concert Discussion (free to all ticket holders)

Jade McGlynn (Kings College London)
Philip Bullock (Wadham College)
Eugene Birman, composer of ‘Russia: Today’

To book a weekend pass, please follow the instructions here: https://www.ticketsoxford.com/jdp-music-building-new-music-weekend

Photo of Eugene BirmanJade McGlynn

Photo of person walking down a track in the middle of a field