In 2022, the University of Padua and the Centro d’Arte came together to share in a spectacular season of musical performances. As the University celebrates its 800th Anniversary with a rich program of activities, the Centro d’Arte organizes musical initiatives through research, contemplation, and its expertise in the field of music.
Therefore, Centrodarte22 becomes an Opera Libera, by interpreting and developing the ancient motto of the University of Padua- Universa Universis Patavina Libertas. Freedom, like that of the University’s unwavering freedom in research, is the theme of its season of musical performances, upholding the character of autonomous expression that defines Centro d’Arte.
A preview of the autumn Centrodarte22 – Opera Libera concert season welcomes the experimental vocalist, movement artist and composer, Elaine Mitchener for an extraordinary evening in Padua on Friday, September 30.
Mitchener opens the evening with a performance of Memorial, written specifically for her by George E. Lewis in 2015. An important figure of contemporary improvisation and composition, Lewis is a historian, African American music theorist and the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. Lewis wrote Memorial, taking inspiration from the South African poet and political activist, Keorapetse Kgositsile, who began studying African American culture and jazz from an “African” perspective in the 1970s. Mitchener performs Memorial with an intense expression of improvisational sound and movement shared through her unique voice and stage presence.
The performance is followed by an evening of extemporaneous, site-specific workshops welcoming the audience to participate in a creative and collaborative voice by exploring the creation of sound without notes but rather relying on text and graphic materials. Mitchener conducts the audience, bringing forth techniques typical of performance art and theatre. The workshop references the work of artists such as Alison Knowles, Katalin Ladik, Ben Patterson, Jeanne Lee, Isidore Isou and more.
Born in East London to Jamaican parents, Michener holds an impressive record of accomplishment through her participation in the world’s leading festivals. Collaborating with artists from a wide variety of backgrounds including Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa), Mark Padmore, The Otolith Group, Deborah Warner, Christian Marclay, Apartment House, Steve Beresford, Pat Thomas, Irvine Arditti, the London Sinfonietta, John Butcher, George Lewis, Phil Minton, Evan Parker, David Toop and Jason Yarde. Michener is also co-leader of a more jazz-oriented quartet along with a frequent guest musician of the Art Center featuring pianist Alexander Hawkins.
The Opera Libera concert series is part of the University of Padua’s 800th Anniversary Celebrations.
The theme of freedom behind the Opera Libera concert series is an echo of the need to highlight more women in musical creativity. Freedom, as a reflection of the post-colonial cultural identity that places a value upon African-American music, forever influencing contemporary society, language, poetry, and art. The musical initiatives proposed by Centro d’Arte demonstrate how various artistic practices bring meaning to music that is truly in tune with the times from composition to improvisation, and the technology developed to create new sounds. The Centro d’Arte is dedicated to supporting the University of Padua in celebrating freedom in scientific and technological research in relation to the development of artistic languages.
Unipd students enjoy a discount on tickets at 1 € each
Regularly priced tickets are 12 € each, reduced tickets are 5 € each