chamber opera

mezzo soprano, sound track and two channel video installation.

duration: 30 minutes

composition and video by Arnoud Noordegraaf

original premiere by Marieke Koster, soprano

10 May 2004 Frascati, Amsterdam

commissioned by Gaudeamus Foundation

In Voyager two worlds collide, when a woman in the old Wild West era, sitting alone in her prairie-house, waiting for her ever traveling cowboy husband to return home, is confronted with a mysterious object that falls literally from the sky into her life.

This mysterious object is the Golden Record, as found on board of the NASA Voyager satellites, launched in the 1970's to explore the planets and travel on into deep space. Both satellites have such a record on board, containing speech, sounds, music and images of Earth's science, nature and culture. The rear side of the record shows a diagram of how to use the included playback device in order to get the sounds out.


In Voyager, the satellite has made a miraculous return to Earth, across space and time, and crashes into the ground next to the old farm house. The woman finds the record, in shards after it's hard landing, and regards it a message from her long gone man. Putting the pieces together on her old Gramophone player, a wild collage of archive images, sounds and music is unleashed.

Searching for signs, she finds back old memories and makes a journey through her own past. Finally she comes back to reality and it comes to light that her husband is dead. She is just in the process of getting over his departure, and this absurd find helps her to find reconciliation.


photos: Pieter Kers

Voyager was commissioned by Gaudeamus for the first Gaudeamus Music Theatre Festival in Amsterdam.

Arnoud Noordegraaf: libretto, composition, video

Marieke Koster: mezzo soprano

Hester Jolink: decor

Luuk Vierhout: Light

Ianthe Elbers: dress

Synco Scholvinck: video editor


commissioned and produced by the Gaudeamus Foundation

for the Gaudeamus Music Theatre Festival, 2004

Press quotes:

Bela Luttmer in De Telegraaf, 14 Mei 2004:

"Noordegraaf noticable multi-media talent"

"Arnoud Noordegraafs short opera 'Voyager' ... is a beautiful, multi-layered unity of text, image and music. Images from space and raw electronic sounds fade in to the warm mezzo soprano voice of Marieke Koster ...

"through the self inventive combination of lyrics, images and music, a unique laguage is created that is fascinating till the end."

Ernst Vermeulen in NRC Handelsblad, 17 Mei 2004:

"...fascinating was Voyager for  singer, tape and video by Arnoud Noordegraaf, who managed to create a remarkable unity in style and atmosphere."


Performance history:

18 April 2006 - Jauna Muzika festival, Vilnius, LT

23 + 24 MEI 2005 - Festival a/d Werf, Utrecht

7 FEB. 2005 - radio uitzending; Concertzender (18:00 u.)

4 FEB. 2005 - Grand Theater Groningen, "on location" edition of the Int. Film Festival Rotterdam.

12 DEC. 2004 - museum De Pont, Tilburg; 14:30

21 NOV. 2004 - Van Abbe museum, Eindhoven; 14:00

20 NOV. 2004 - Toneelschuur, Haarlem, Nacht van de Heimwee; 20:00

10 + 14 MEI 2004 - Frascati, Amsterdam, Gaudeamus Muziektheater Festival (premiere)


© Arnoud Noordegraaf 2004 all rights reserved.