The Nancy Opera Xperience or NOX is a laboratory of opera creation. Its aim is to rethink the way an opera is produced in order to imagine new forms: by inviting artists to work over the long term in close connection with the city and the region.
For its second manifestation, NOX is initiating a two-season collaboration with composer Mathieu Corajod who belongs to a new generation of multidisciplinary artists who see stage performance as intrinsically linked to music.
In order to give you access to the creative process of this new project, a public presentation will be held during the season.
Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Mathieu Corajod: I’m a composer and a director. I studied at the University of Arts in Berne where I specialised in musical theatre in the course created by Georges Aperghis. I then studied at IRCAM with Thierry De Mey. In 2019, as part of the ManiFeste Festival I created Ça va bien avec comment tu vis—a piece for two dancers, voice, and electronica. Following that performance, I founded the company Mixt Forma. I like forms that surprise audiences and make them pose questions.
You are currently working on a production for NOX#2 which will premiere during the 2022-2023 season. What was its point of departure?
Mathieu Corajod: There are numerous starting points. During our initial discussions, Matthieu Dussouillez told me that for the 2021-2022 season, he wanted to explore the theme of confinement and ways to break free from it. In order to trigger the inspiration, I need the theme to encounter a formal idea. Since I wanted to work on space, Kafka’s Metamorphosis came naturally to me: the story of Gregor Samsa—who wakes up one morning transformed into a hideous insect and has to remain confined in his room—clearly resonates with the situation we are all currently experiencing.
One of the main purposes of NOX is to question the performance space, the limits of the stage on which an opera is usually performed. NOX#1 – Are you in Love? Took the form of scenes performed throughout the Nancy metropolitan area. Do you already know what original form your new production will take?
Mathieu Corajod: At this stage, I can tell you about the ideas and desires that we discussed with the Opera: to get out of the building, to open up to the city, to take over a building with windows through which the musicians would play, to transform a pre-existing structure using light and projections, to evoke a sense of strangeness…
About 1 hour