Rothko Chapel

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Manchester Collective @ Bridgewater Hall - Gaelle Beri

What does a painting sound like?

Touring to London, Manchester, and internationally to Germany and Belgium, Manchester Collective and SANSARA turn to Mark Rothko’s immense canvases for inspiration in Rothko Chapel, reimagining them through sound and light. With its haunting beauty and resonance, the performance invites us to explore the depths of our inner world and connect with the transcendent power of art.

At the heart of the experience is Morton Feldman’s sonic meditation for chamber choir, solo viola, celeste and percussion. The 30-minute piece was written as a tribute to the abstract artist in 1971, shortly after he took his life, and references the chapel in Houston housing his formidable black paintings. A unique lighting installation frames the musical journey, beckoning audiences to find a space of introspection and contemplation.

Three world premieres by composers working at the cutting edge of contemporary classical music capture the emotional essence of Rothko’s art through creative responses to his work; Katherine Balch’s songs and interludes, Rothko No. 9 by Isobel Waller-Bridge and Edmund Finnis’ Blue Divided by Blue.

Rakhi Singh, Manchester Collective co-founder and Music Director, says: ‘Rothko Chapel by Morton Feldman is a deeply moving piece of music, a sonic meditation. In this tour we aim to create a space for the audience to be held in this wonder. Supporting this iconic work there are three new works inspired by Rothko's work, plus textural and mysterious works by Saariaho, Scelsi and Mazzoli for solo cello and solo violin.’

Rothko Chapel UK Tour 2024

  • Sunday 5 May – Southbank Centre, London
  • Tuesday 7 May – Erholungshaus, Leverkusen, Germany
  • Wednesday 8 May – De Singel, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Friday 10 May – Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Further Information: Rothko Chapel — Manchester Collective