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Len Lye - The OperaInternal audio
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LEN LYE the opera is based on the dramatic life of one of our most original artists. As an opera in the contemporary sense, it is a unique mix of music, poetry, theatre, dance, costumes, set design and film, with a cast of top national and international singers, musicians and performing artists. Eve de Castro-Robinson's lively music incorporates jazz, dance music and other elements that reflect Lye's art and personality.
The opera tells the story of one of the most colourful and important artists to have emerged from New Zealand. Born in 1901, Len Lye grew up in this country, moving to London in 1926 to embrace the excitement of modernism and the Jazz Age. In 1944 he moved to New York and lived for the rest of his life in its bohemian art world. He gained a worldwide reputation for his films and sculptures.
Along with his artistic triumphs, Lye experienced two contrasting marriages and ongoing battles with the art establishment. Despite these battles, Lye never abandoned hope or energy – he continued to struggle, to dream, to re-invent art – and to shock the orthodox with his views about art, clothing, politics and marriage.
When he died in 1980, Lye left his art to the people of New Zealand. His animated films and kinetic sculptures continue to excite imaginations young and old, here and around the globe.
04 Sep 2012: LEN LYE the opera