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The new portrait DVD of the American-Norwegian composer presents a video production (commissioned especially for the EDITION ZEITGENÖSSISCHE MUSIK) of Gardner’s most extensive work for Opera Lab Berlin so far, this Western-opera “Gunfighter Nation” (2016) in a staging by Michael Höppner. The full-length work for six voices and ensemble, which received its premiere at Berlin’s Ballhaus Ost, re-tells in a playful-musical manner the myths entwined around the history of the United States, from the expulsion of the native Americans by the white settlers to the ongoing political upheavals according to the motto “America first!”.

As every Opera Lab Berlin production, “Gunfighter Nation” demands of its singers and musicians to step out of their familiar sphere of activity and to act as performers and actors – committed to the pioneering spirit of the first settlers, conquering all unknown territories before them. In the booklet, Roland Quitt describes Gardner’s compositional approach: “Tunes from America’s everyday culture are stitched into the cohesive fabric of Gardner’s own musical idiom. They thereby become material for further manipulation, dissection, and transformation as the American Dream is called into question with the resources of music.”

In addition, the DVD contains three works from the period when Gardner was still composing mainly instrumental pieces: recordings of his works “Sonic Voyeur II” (Zafraan Ensemble), “Scandinavian Knitting” (Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra) and of the cycle “No Thanks”, based on poems of E. E. Cummings (Ensemble Contrechamps).

Video-Coproduction: Deutscher Musikrat gemeinnützige Projektgesellschaft mbH and Opera Lab Berlin
Audio-Production: Zafraan Ensemble, NRK, Schweizer Radio and Fernsehen

approx. 125 min | German | English | Stereo | DVD 5 | PAL | Country Code: 0


Content Video: - Gunfighter Nation A Western Opera for six voices and ensemble
Content Audio: Sonic Voyeur II for flute, clarinet, violin, viola and violoncello
Scandinavian Knitting for orchestra
No Thanks Five Poems by E. E. Cummings for mezzo-soprano, clarinet and violoncello


Opera Lab Berlin / condutor: Musashi Baba, Antoine Daurat and Manuel Nawri Zafraan Ensemble / Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Dima Slobodeniouk: condutor / Anne Montandon: mezzo-soprano / Ensemble Contrechamps

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Gunfighter Nation
124 ′35 ′′

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Product number:
WER 64232
0,12 kg

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