Konstantin Koukias

Live Arts & Hybrid Arts

Shaped by Trees, Film Opera – Stage 1

We go back and forth in time, while Eva, our protagonist, tells her story from a nursing home, where she is suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s.

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SHAPED BY TREES by Biasino Pezzimenti & Konstantin Koukias

Stage 1 – Promotional video recording, October 2016
Stage 2 – Complete Opera recording, May 2017
Stage 3 – Filming in Tasmania, February / March 2018
Stage 4 – Film Release, late 2018

OVERVIEW
This opera will open your heart, whether you are young or old, to the mysterious world of love, fragility, dogma and finally devotion.We go back and forth in time while Eva, our protagonist, tells her story from a nursing home, where she is suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s and a tired heart.

Tarka is an idealistic seminarian student who remains in conflict with his immovable, crushing, dominating church and his love for the sensuous Eva. His spiritual aspirations begin to flicker like the light in Eva’s mind, as their love for each other ignites.

Our two lovers are at a dangerous crossroad in their young lives. And like an untried love sometimes will, they carelessly break tradition. They are exposed and raw only to find mercy, beautiful lust and sanctuary within natures indomitable spirit.

The idea of an unworkable or inconceivable partnering of two people always intrigued.

That passion is predatory, excessive and almost mutinous. This puerile relationship is narcissistic, but through it the characters learn how to break through and put the passion aside to become delicate and warmly forgiving.

It is a love story as well as a journey. We go backwards and forwards in time, told by the elderly sick Eva whose memory is now a servant to Alzheimer’s.

Eva as the main character is both profane and holy. A woman born from Gods mercy and retribution. An exotic dancer who at one point says “he was only a burn………an unfinished tattoo on my heart’.

She was talking about her young seminarian lover, Tarka, who entered her monochromatic life in a surprisingly unintentional encounter that ultimately reconstructs both of them forever.

It is a story of reckless love that has no boundaries. The two characters are charismatic and ruthlessly defiant, even in the face of a superior force that will ultimately crush their shamelessness.

Like the story of Adam and Eve they are seduced by their youth, their desires, their confidence, their lust and hunger for all that is perfectly human.

It is also a story of old age where there are decided limitations , as we become disembodied and sadly unrecognisable.

Throughout, there is always hope, there is forgiveness, but mostly it is the human condition that takes us up to heaven and back to the earth again and again and again.

With the neoteric and intensely atmospheric composition of Konstantin’s irresistible music and the roaring poetic images of Biasino’s libretto; together they bring an exciting fresh voice to opera.

KK
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Konstantin Koukias is a Greek -Tasmanian director, composer and designer based in Amsterdam.

His avant-garde approach to the presentation of opera has resulted in hybrid productions such as ‘Days and Nights with Christ’, ‘To Traverse Water’, ‘MIKROVION (Small Life – 36 Images in a Phantom Flux of Life)’, ‘Tesla – Lightning in His Hand’ and most recently ‘The Barbarians’, inspired by Constantine Cavafy’s famous poem ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’, commissioned by the Museum of Old & New Art.

His works range from large-scale music theatre and opera to mobile installation art events. His compositions have been always remarkable for their characteristic, mesmerising and atmospheric qualities created by temporal, spatial and production designs. In his recent works, exotic flavours have been introduced through Eastern timbres and melody-design.

In 1993 he was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House Trust to compose ‘ICON’, a large-scale music theatre piece to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House. Music theatre works include ‘Kimisis – Falling Asleep’, ‘Borders’, ‘Orfeo’, ‘Rapture – Sonic Taxi Performance’, ‘Schwa – The Neutral Vowel’, ‘Antigone’ and ‘The Da Ponte Project’. ‘Prayer Bells’, which draws on traditions of Latin, Hebrew and Byzantine chant, had its USA premiere at the Chicago Cultural Centre.

Community arts projects include ‘PULP’ – a socio-political operatic intervention with disenfranchised mill workers in a regional community; ‘Sea-Chant’ – a large scale community Opera mediating the tensions between the logging industry and local residents; and ‘The Divine Kiss’ – a collaborative opera co-created with performers who have physical and mental disabilities.

In 2004 he was awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship. His Incantation II for soprano and digital delay won the International Valentino Bucchi Vocal Prize in Rome in 1997. His design credits include the internationally acclaimed Odyssey and Medea.

In 2014/15 ‘Kimisis – Falling Asleep’, a chamber opera for Soprano and Electric Trombone had its Netherlands premiere at Splendor Amsterdam and toured to the Karavaan Festival.

In 2016 he is working on a film opera with writer Biasino William Pezzimenti – ‘Shaped by Trees, The Boy Who Fell Out of The Sky’ – Concerto for Ondes Martentot and Orchestra, Trombone Concerto for Pierre Volders with the New Trombone Collective, ‘Kavafy’ – Opera, ‘ADRIFT’ – by Douglas Khenans & Juanita Rockwell – Chamber Opera.

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