‘What happened before we got involved in problematic things like civilization, religion and nationhood?’ This opera takes as its starting point Medúlla, a 2004 conceptual album by the famous singer and songwriter Björk, an album entirely devoted to every sound and noise that comes out of the human throat. It was created in response to racist and nationalist reactions to the 9/11 attacks. The title refers to the Latin word for marrow, and by extension to the essence of things, corresponding to the composer’s desire to explore the heart of music and through it the fundamental element that unites humanity, regardless of belief, race, nationality, or age.
In januari 2015, La Monnaie took as a starting point Björk’s Medúlla to create an intergenerational opera project and brought together a new team: the conductor Bassem Akiki, the director Sjaron Minailo and the fashion designer Henrik Vibskov. The youthful freshness of the children of the Choraline and the Maîtrise de la Monnaie combines happily with the rich experience of their elder co-participants, six longstanding soloists: the American soprano Roberta Alexander, the Australian singer and actor Kevin Walton, the Belgian mezzo-soprano Mireille Capelle, the Swedish bass-baritone Frode Olsen, the singer Jackie Janssens, the percussionist Simon Weetjens and the musician Henry Vega for the electronic music.