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The idea of the work is that the linguistic rhetoric should determine all the piece’s expressive aspects – its dramaturgy, music and staging. Music arises from the language and the scenic sound while, for its part, the action onstage reacts to the music.
A certain form of Cantio was performed in Greece; the gods were to be convinced to remain in the city if they were thought to be ready to abandon it. It survives only in fragments.
But our perceptual options of reconstructing such a distant epoch, identifying with it, are also merely fragmentary at most.
The attempt is to complete those fragments and, using imagination – and without becoming historical – to revivify them, allow them to speak – to make them heard, perhaps, if only for a short moment.
Baltakas is an enormous talent; he knows exactly what he wants and what he can justify musically - and he doesn't succumb to convention. Turbulent music theatre with congenial stage direction by Oskaras Korsunovas. (Reinhard Schulz, NMZ)
Cantio was one of the most appealing séances in the Biennale's history. (Hans Klaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau)
As a contribution to the discourse on opera's future, Cantio definitely has its qualities. (Gerhard Rohde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)