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The Royal Ballet : "Zoi Tsokanou, directed the House orchestra with intimate sensitivity"

Graham Watts and Mark Pullinger in their articles on www, about Crystal Pite's Light of Passage at the Royal Opera House, highlight Zoi's sesitivity on the way she directed the House Orchestra.

Pite constructs flowing movement to represent Henryk Górecki’s Third Symphony, known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Henryk Górecki (1933-2010) was a relatively unknown Polish composer until, in 1992, he found worldwide fame thanks to a recording of his Third Symphony that sold over a million copies writes Pullinger. It was an unlikely hit, a work in three movements – all of them slow – featuring Polish texts sung by a soprano: a 15th-century lament of the Virgin Mary; a mother searching for her son, who had been killed by the Germans; and between them, a graffitied message scratched onto the wall of a Gestapo cell in Zakopane, he says.

"Tsokanou began her study of the score by focusing on the three texts Górecki used and reading a lot about Polish history to “find a way to connect” with the work" Pullinger stresses.

“Its 55 minutes are very similar – repetitive, very tonal, minimalistic – so the challenge is to create a feeling of timelessness, to open a window and to experience time totally differently for one hour", explains Zoi. "This symphony has an infinite feeling. We have to forget time in order to experience this composition.”

Light of Passage may only have been an hour-long but nobody was short-changed as Crystal Pite continues to produce outstanding work around the globe and, in this instance, proves the old adage that many great things come in small packages, concludes Watts.



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