“Imagine Desert Island Discs meets Star Trek… Welcome to PANIC ROOM – The Singterviews: Richter Edition”
John Hansard Gallery – 6pm – Friday 29 June
***Free entry***


Launching an intoxicating new series of interventions at Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery, SÓN presents Loré Lixenberg, celebrated vocal artist and contemporary music specialist, in an extraordinary reaction to the gallery’s opening exhibition, ARTIST ROOMS: Gerhard Richter.

Renowned for her eclectic virtuosity, stage charisma and versatility, Loré explores a multiverse of reactions to Richter’s 48 Portraits in this premiere performance created specifically for SÓNic Interventions in which electroacoustic sound and live vocal lines are combined alongside live, sung interviews.

Weaving music, voice-recordings or other extracts from all 48 people immortalised in the Portraits, Loré describes her Panic Rooms – The Singterviews as “Desert Island Discs meets Star Trek”. You’ll hear music and sounds related to all 48, but not necessarily in a way you might immediately perceive. And, all the way through, Loré will discuss aspects of the Portraits and the Richter works on display around the gallery with the key curators of the exhibition, weaving sung interview questions with their responses.

An overview – by Loré Lixenberg

In four billion years the sun will turn into a red dwarf, explode and die taking its whole solar system including earth with it. The piece ‘Panic Room – The Singterviews’ was created during a residency in Venice that could be seen as one of the seats of European artistic achievement and, as due to rising water levels Venice is sinking, It seems to be an allegory of this cosmic event. When one visits the artistic treasures of Venice one is aware of their fragility in this way and that when it does eventually sink many great works of art will be lost to us for ever in the same way on a cosmic scale all the artistic achievement of Man will evaporate. It’s really sad to think that one day no living being would be able to hear a Beethoven symphony or Bach Cantata or Hip Hop, so the Panic Room is in fact an imaginary artistic Arc where the opera singer knows she will die, collects as much music and operatic mementos as she can and chooses one person to have one last conversation about music and art. During my life there will be many of these ‘Singterviews’ and accompanying tracks.

When I die I would like other singers to continue the Singterviews until the sun really does turn into a red dwarf and explode. So, I am the first SINGTERVIEWER, who will be the last?

The Singterviews: Richter Edition

There is nothing new about the interview but I wanted to explore the idea of the sing-terview and establish a character whose only mode of communication is singing. I like the idea that operatic singing – which was developed to amplify the natural voice – is used in a very intimate way. The opera technique at first is quite bizarre and distancing, but slowly during the singterview becomes accepted as the mode of sonic transport. There are set questions where cells of music have been composed and become embellished according to the direction the interview takes.

Panic Room explores the idea of a very private space made public, surveillance, and the interview form. This Singterview with the curators of the Gerhard Richter exhibition is particularly special as it takes place in the room where Richter’s 48 Portraits hang, and is in direct response to them. Gerhard Richter exhibited and prepared the 48 for the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 1972. These portraits are notable not least for the lack of women represented in them, though I’m intrigued by the notion that one of the reasons Richter painted these works was to explore the classical form and he was very particular about how ‘The 48’ should be hung. That he chose not to represent women, as a female artist, I take almost as a compliment: the reason being that in an effort to make an abstract principle absolute, women’s ‘different features and clothing would have made integration impossible’. In other words, women are more distinguishable and have more visual character than men! Richter chose those encyclopaedic men for their visual neutrality and not for their notability.

The electronic track I’ve prepared includes contributions from all the ’48’. If you listen very carefully you will hear it. And in the same way that Richter equalises the painted portraits [through over-painting techniques] the sound seeks to do the same. Imagine the sounds of the ’48’ slowly slipping over the event horizon of a black hole as this seminal work is rescued from the end of our solar system!

This is PANIC ROOM – The Singterviews: Richter curators edition!

Event details

SÓNic Interventions 1 – The Loré Lixenberg “Singterview”
Friday 29 June 2018
6pm – free admission – just drop in
John Hansard Gallery, Studio 144, Southampton
NB this event will take place in the Barker-Mill Gallery and is live-streamed around the building

About Loré Lixenberg

Born in the UK Lore Lixenberg has performed widely in opera, concert repertoire and music-theatre, and works with many leading composers.

She has performed internationally at many festivals and venues including those of Salzburg, Lucerne, Donaueschingen, Aldeburgh, Witten, Manchester International Festival, Aspern festival, Edinburgh and Huddersfield,La Fenice and at the Wien Modern and Oslo Ultima festivals.She also performed in the Berlin Philharmonie as well as the opening season of the Hamburg Elbphilharminie .She has performed and recorded with orchestras and ensembles including the Halle, Tokyo PO, Danish National SO, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, London Sinfonietta, Klangforum Wien, BCMG,BBCSO,Hannover Opera, Ensemble Aventure, Icelandic SO and Danish Royal Opera,SWDR,Nash Ensemble.

Lixenberg worked on the development of and played the Roles of Peaches and Baby Jane in Jerry Springer the Opera (Battersea, Edinburgh, NT, West End) She worked on the development of and appeared in Kombat Opera Presents (Richard Thomas, Thea Wiles BBC2) and Attention Scum (Simon Munnery, Stewart Lee, Richard Thomas). She worked on the development of and played the roles of Millie and Death in The HaHa Hole (Richard Thomas, Stewart Lee) at Hannover Schauspielhaus. She has appeared regularly with Complicite including Miss Donnithornes Maggot (Maxwell Davies) and Out of a House Walked a Man (NT) and workshops for A Dogs Heart (Raskatov). She made her ROH Covent Garden debut in Stephen McNeffs The Gentle Giant and also performed in Joc Pooks Ingerland and went on to premiere Mark Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole singing the role of cousin Shelly.

She works regularly with Mahogany Opera and premiered Lost in Thought by Hind and The Mother by Laurence Osbourn also premiered April in the Amazon by Osbourn and performed in experimental versions of Salome and Bluebeards Castle. She also performed with Phoenix Dance Theatre touring Cattle Call (Javier de frutos, Richard Thomas) and played the role of Xai Lin, who began the Tienennmen Square protest,in Looking for Courage a co production between Denmark and China, by Niels Ronsholdt and returned to the Danish Royal Opera to premiere new works by Oehring, Hind, Ronsholdt and Thomas with Trio Zoom.

Recital performances include Schubert Recitals with Accompanying Franz by Dai Fujikura, with Andrew West in France and Japan with La Folle Journee Festival, Eisler Geburtstag recital of Eisler songs with Jonathan Powell, recital of Music from the Weimar Republic at Kings Place with the Aurora Orchestra also singing the role of Anna in The Seven Deadly Sins (Weill) with the Aurora Orchestra. She commissioned two new song cycles with texts by Brecht in new english translation by Tom Kuhns, composed by Richard Thomas and Niels Ronsholdt. She toured extensively with the Brodsky string quartet premiering the new song cycle Trees,Walls and Cities also performing Schubert and Purcell, making her Wigmore Hall debut with the Nash Ensemble. She has also recently been touring Kafka Fragments by Kurtag with violinist Aisha Orezbayeva.

About SÓN and the SÓNic Interventions at John Hansard Gallery

SÓN is Southampton’s professional chamber orchestra, formed in 2015 and recently announced as Turner Sims’ Orchestra in Association. They perform an eclectic mix of live music throughout the season, in addition to running an inspiring series of music education and outreach projects.

Commissioned by John Hansard Gallery as a set of responses to the ARTIST ROOMS: Gerhard Richter exhibition, SÓNic Interventions are a series of four musical events stretching from intimate solo vocal and instrumental performances right through to crowd-composed music, each embracing the sonic space of the new gallery and presented directly alongside the very artwork which inspired them.

With free entry, the Interventions begin at 6pm on Friday 29 June and continue fortnightly throughout the summer.