Miraculous Mandarin for the Concertgebouw Orchestra

On Friday, April 14, 2023, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Matthias Pintscher, played Béla Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin, a work originally composed for pantomime. The story was enacted by life-size dancing puppets by the Duda Paiva Company.

With the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Pintscher conducts the second movement (shir II) and the new final movement (shir IV), which he was commissioned for by the orchestra to write and which will have its Dutch premiere. Baritone Thomas Oliemans is the soloist in both movements; in shir IV, orchestra and soloist are joined by the Netherlands Radio Choir.
Pintscher opens the concert with yet another Dutch premiere: the first three movements of the (five-movement) Concert for Orchestra by Slovenian composer Nina Šenk.

Residency in Essen
On Saturday, April 15, 2023, the Concertgebouw Orchestra performed the same program at the Philharmonie in Essen as part of the orchestra’s residency there this season.

Lighting design

The combination of bringing Duda Paiva Company’s puppets to life with light, combined with the practical (im)possibilities of a venue like The Concertgebouw, resulted in a balanced lighting design. High side and back lighting allowed the world of the dancers to be separated from the world of the orchestra. The addition of additional floor lighting (both diffuse linear washlights and directional moving specials) made it possible to get the light atmospherically and accurately into the puppets’ eyes.

Review in Dutch newspaper NRC: click here.

Review on website Theaterkrant: click here.

Cast & Creatives

Conductor: Matthias Pintscher
Dance and puppetry: Duda Paiva Company

Lighting design: Mike Evers
Assistant lighting design: Floriaan Ganzevoort

Dancers: Lorenzo Capodieci, Oliver Wagstaff and Yashasvi Shrotriya

Production: Marianne Rübsaam
Lighting rentals: Lichtwerk Amsterdam
Photography: Renske Vrolijk and Floriaan Ganzevoort