Maja Jantar is a multilingual and polysonic voice / artist, and director living in Ghent, Belgium, whose work spans the fields of performance, music, poetry and visual arts. From 2001 to present, Jantar has directed over ten operas, including Monteverdi’s classic Incoronatione di Poppea; Sciarrino’s contemporary Infinito Nero as well as Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel and Bernsteins West Side Story, and created various theatrical performances.
A co-founder of the poetic group Krikri (www.krikri.be), she has been giving individual and collaborative performances throughout Europe and experimenting with poetic sound works since 1996. Amongst her collaborators you will find artists from various disciplines, poetry, music, fine arts, theatre. Long time collaborators are poets Vincent Tholomé and Angela Rawlings, director Ewout D’Hoore and visual artist Hallveig Ágústsdóttir.
Some of her visual poetry has appeared in various publications, amongst others the catalogue Zieteratuur (The Netherlands), and her visual work has been shown in several exhibits, recently at the Art Book Fair, at arts centre Wiels in Brussels, SecondRoom in Ghent, at Été 78 in Brussels and Les Abattoirs de Bomel in Namur. She is curently working on a solo release of her album reAd. There are also plans to make public some of her LUNALIA collaborations, amongst others with Simon Pomery and Xavier Dubois, and possibly others.
For the last four years she has been working with the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders to create new concepts for their family concerts in december. This years project is inspired by the modernists, and will tell an abstract story of shapes and colours, and their interaction with each other. ‘It is redyellowblue and sounds like whoohoo’ will be played in the main Flemish concert halls: de Singel in Antwerp, Concertgebouw Brugge and De Bijloke, Gent.
Continuously exploring new territory, last november she performed the challenging vocal piece ‘Kafka Fragmente’, by György Kurtág, with violinist Vladislav Pesin, in Moscow State Philharmonic, Chamber Hall, for the V International Actual Music Festival “Another Space”. Upcoming are: a collaboration with pianist and curator Guy Vandromme, creating a new concept with video work for Franz Schubert’s ‘Winterreise’, in the festival Klankenstroom (Belgium); a residency with Vincent Tholomé in Quebec city (Canada) for Productions Rhizome, on our collaboration ‘brief encounter’. New collaboration with Festival of Flanders Mechelen, on Moon related concepts. Collaboration with composer Esther Venrooy on a new opera: ‘Un soupir, un silence, un mot’ for Ragen, Maastricht ( The Netherlands)
1995-2000 : Art Sciences, specialisation visual arts at the University of Ghent (BE), thesis: Le poison de l’être – a search for Antonin Artauds Rodez drawings.
2001 : Action Painting studies with Herman Nitsch at the summer academy in Salzburg.
2002 : Various workshops: Lydia Lunch (spoken word) at the Institute for Living Voice (ILV) David Moss (extended vocal techniques) (ILV) Nicoletta Branchini (pilates, yoga, contemporary dance, alexander technique)
DA maL Saturn heran kam, Neue Musik und ihr Umfeld, In Erinnerung an Karl Amadeus Hartman zum 100 Geburtstag; Bayerischer Rundfunk; Berlin/Leiptzig; 2006
Zieteratuur, concrete en visuele poëzie; Uitgeverij Passage; Groningen
Écrivains en Séries, saison2; éditions Laureli / Léo Scheer; Paris; 2010
Paralipomena; Selected works, artbook and CD at Hybriden Verlag, Berlin
Literary Mag Kluger Hans,We artists are a danger to fanatism; 03-2011
Maja Jantar is a Fellow (theatre 2012) of the Bogliasco Foundation
and a Guest professor (opera direction, and extended vocal techniques) at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
2008: Exhibit of visual work at Galerie Link, Ghent, Belgium
2011: Exhibit of visual work at Galerie Link, Ghent, Belgium
2016: ‘Exercise the unseen’, SecondRoom, Ghent, Belgium
2000: Summer school exhibition, Festung, Sommerakademie, Salzburg, Austria
2001: Exhibition of paintings at the Van Crombrugge Genootschap, with photographer Benn Deceuninck, Ghent, Belgium
Group exhibition at the CJK (Centre of Young Art) Ghent, Belgium
2004: Exhibition of visual and photo graphical work at the Campo Santo together with painter Jerry Heymans, Ghent, Belgium
2005: Exhibition with Frie J. Jacobs at Gallery Link, Ghent, Belgium
2007: Soundinstallation at the CJK (Centre of Young Art) Ghent, Belgium
Exhibit at Galerie 93 in Schiedam, The Netherlands
2014: residency exhibition, Verksmidjan Hjalteyri, Iceland
2015: Art Book fair, Wiels, Brussels, Belgium
2016: ‘“That Other Stoic Comedian“: des oeuvres, des performances et des lectures autour de l’écrivain irlandais Flann O’Brien.’, Été 78, Brussels, Belgium.
‘Laborattoirs’, Abattoirs de Bomel, Centre Culturel de Namur, Namur, Belgium
2017: ‘Follow the red line’, graphic scores exhibition for MUSICA in Dommelhof, Neerpelt, Belgium
Theater and Opera (selection)
2008/2009: Concept, direction and text adaptation of Mozarts Bastien and Bastienne for the summer opera festival of Alden Biezen, and Odegand, Festival of Flanders, Ghent,
Eden non verbal performance piece created in collaboration with Ewout D’Hoore, De Bottelarij, Brussels and Theater aan zee (Summer theatre festival) Oostende, (BE)
2010: Hänsel und Gretel, opera by Humperdinck, dutch translation and direction at the Summer opera festival of Alden Biesen, (BE)
Rikadla, musicthetre production based on the piece by Janacek, creation at Turnout and Festival of Flanders Ghent, (BE)
Two Street opera’s by Frank Nuyts and Boudewijn Buckinx, Festival of Flanders Ghent, Mira Miro Festival (Leuven, Ghent) (BE)
2011/2012: Als de klok dúmdi rumdi dú tikt’ piece based on Wohltemperierte Klavier by JS Bach, première at Concertgebouw Brugge followed by belgian tour.
Creating the live soundtrack for the dance piece by Nicole Kohler, L’Hôtà Theatre Colisée Blankenberge (BE)
Opera Project Er was eens… Summer opera festival Alden Biezen, (BE)
2013: Co-directing and composing the score for an experimental poetic film based on the book Cavalcade by Vincent Tholomé, filmshoot in Iceland
Directing and creating Als je slaapt… an opera for children from 3 to 99 for the Flemish Operahouse in Gent and Antwerp.
Directing and playing Kaba, a duo music theatre piece voice – violin, based on the musical theme of the Kaba as a melancholy story.
2014: Directed Hans og Greta (Hänsel und Gretel by Humperdinck in Icelandic translation) for the Öp-Hópurinn group in Iceland, a rerun is planned for may 2015.
Directed ‘Ontdek me, Alies’ for the Symphonic Orchestra Flanders, played in december at De Singel, Antwerpen, and Concertgebouw Brugge.
2015: Worked on an Opera project with the students of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels
Rerun of Hans og Gréta, Icelandic Hänsel und Gretel in Reykjaness Iceland
Directed Bernsteins West Side Story for Odegand, opening day of the Festival of Flanders Ghent, with choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Created and directed Ali Babba, a family concert for the Symphony orchestra of Flanders
2016: Created and directed Warewolves, a family concert for the Symphony orchestra of Flanders
2017: Co-directed a new work of socio-cultural theatre ‘The four Seasons’ with patients from the psychiatric institution, Het Heilig Hart, in Ieper (Belgium)
Directed a new show ‘Lass mich los’ based only on works by female composers, with Chia Fen Wu, Dirk Moelants, Sabrina Avantario, avant – première at Kleurenfabriek festival, Drongen.
Text and Performance (selection)
2008-2009: Collaboration with the experimental multi media theatre group Crew on Eux and O-Rex: Spielart Festival, Munich, (DE); De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam and Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, (NL), La Chartreuse, Avignon, (FR); Vooruit arts centre, Ghent and Kortrijk, (BE); Theater am Gessner Allee, Zürich, (CH) Kaaitheater, Brussels, (BE); Exodos Festival, Ljubljana, (Sl); Campo for the Gentse Feesten, Ghent and
VIA festival, Mons, (BE); Bordeaux, (FR); Théatre de la Cité, Paris, (FR)
Creation of Kirkjubaejarklaustur voice performance based on a book by Vincent Tholomé, together with Vincent Tholomé and Sebastien Dicenaire at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France for the Bruits de Bouche festival.
2010: Various performances in collaboration with Angela Rawlings: Logos, Ghent; Espace Senghor, Brussels (BE); Perdu, Amserdam (NL);Berlin Poetry festival (DE); Venue, Reykjavík (IS)
Performances with Vincent Tholomé and Sebastian Dicenaire, Maeström Festival, Espace Senghor, Brussels; Krikri Festival; Zebrastraat, Ghent (BE)
Solo performance at 3Durch3 series in Stuttgart, creation of Weiss (DE)
2011: Various performances in collaboration with Angela Rawlings: Kelly Writers house, Philadelphia; Poets House, New York (USA)
Solo performances at the Stanza Poetry Festival, St. Andrews, Scotland; Perdu, Amsterdam; Color Outside the Lines Festival in Brighton, (UK) Performances with Vincent Tholomé for Bateau Feu and Mon Inouï Symphonie in Dunkerque, (FR)
Co-organisation of the 7th International Krikri Festival, Ghent, (BE)
Workshops for Matrix vzw, Leuven (BE)
2012: Various performances with Invisible Cities Lazara Rosell Albear, percussion, Audrey Lauro on soprano sax. Maja Jantar vocals, Brussels, Ghent (BE)
Performance of Sibyllaria and co-organisation of the experimental part of
the Poëzienacht at the Concertgebouw Brugge (BE)
Performance with Vincent Tholomé and Xavier Dubois at the Centre de Walonie in Paris and with Vincent Tholomé at the Felix Poetry Festival, Antwerpen, with Sebastian Dicenaire, at Maison de la Poésie de Nantes, Nantes, (FR)
Residency at The Bogliasco Foundatio, Liguria Study Centre for Arts and Humanities (IT)
Workshops for Matrix vzw, Leuven (BE)
2013: Performance and workshop with Vincent Tholomé at the Maison de la Poésie
Transjurassienne, Sainte-Claude, and at Centre DATABAZ in Angoulême (FR)
Workshops for Creatief Schrijven vzw, teaching performance art and vocal techniques (BE)
Video performance Wagner/Verdi in Hasselt and Leuven
Vocal performance with Nathalie Alessi – reworking the Scriabin Preludes for OneOff in
Performance in Paris (Est-ce une bête qui t’annime au centre) and Marseille (ActOral) with Vincent Tholomé
Performance of new composition by Olmo Cornelis at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent
2014: Workshops writing and voice for Creatief Schrijven
Vocal performance at the Festina Lente Festival at the Cirque électrique in Paris
Duo performance with Angela Rawlings at the Tectonics festival in Reykjavík, Iceland
Vocal performance at Monophonic festival Brussels
Video performance in combination with renaissance music, organised by OneOff in Scherpenheuvel.
Duo performance La conquète du pays Ugogo with Vincent Tholomé at Festival Général Instin in Paris.
Performance on Lou-Andreas Salomé at the Rich mix in London, for Kakania, organised by Steven J. Fowler .
2015: Workshops writing and voice for Creatief Schrijven.
Performed ‘Koningskind’ a production by Alexandra Aerts in various culture centres in Belgium.
Performance of ‘The Waves Wash over the Signal of the Incoming Train’ with pianist Nathalie Alessi, at the Bogliasco Foundation, Liguria, Italy.
Performing at Général Instin with Vincent Tholomé and Angela Rawlings .
Directing West Side Story for OdeGand, Festival of Flanders Ghent.
Group exhibition at the Wiels Art Book Fair – Brussels Poetry Festival.
Tour in the US with ‘Waves wash over the signal of the incoming train’ with Nathalie Alessi.
Performing with Steven Fowler for the Hub, in London.
Working with the singing class of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, creating an opera together.
Première ‘Ali Baba’ in Concertgebouw Brugge and De Singel in Antwerp with Symfonie Orkest Vlaanderen.
2016: Ongoing daily project, LUNALIA , each month in collaboration with an other artist: Vincent Tholomé, Sharon Gal, Simon Pomery, Jelle Meander, Xavier Dubois, Helene Bracke, Kinga Toth…
Concert at Beursschouwburg in Brussels and De Player in Rotterdam, music by Ben Vida, organised by Kraak.
Workshops voice and performance for Creatief Schrijven.
Residency at Abatoirs de Bomel in Namur, with Vincent Tholomé.
Performance at Parasol Unit, London.
Sibyllaria at the Festival of Flanders Kortrijk.
Performance with Tomomi Adachi at Spektrum in Berlin.
Performance at the Österreichisches Kulturforum ‘Kakania’ in Berlin.
Creation of ‘Grindig’ by Pé Okx and solo performance for the Landscape opera ‘De grensmaas vertelt’ in Maastricht.
Exhibition of artwork at SecondRoom in Gent.
Performance The the Wellcome Gallery for the exhibition ‘The Sound of Consciousness’.
Dadaistic poetry box workshop for The Brussels Poerty Festival.
Performance in Barcelona for Vocal Vertebrae.
Performance in Frankfurt, for the Buch Messe, at the Haus am Dom.
Singing ‘Kafka Fragmente’, by György Kurtág, with violinist Vladislav Pesin, in Moscow State Philharmonic, Chamber Hall, for the V International Actual Music Festival “Another Space”.
Residency with Vincent Tholomé at Abatoirs de Bomel in Namur.
Various performances with Vincent Tholomé based on new work created at the residency.
Collaboration with Stijn van Dorpe on ‘the room’ creating the activating performance for his installation. Z33 Hasselt, Belgium
2017: Ongoing daily project, LUNALIA , each month in collaboration with an other artist
Performances with Vincent Tholomé at the Centre de Poésie Saute-Frontière in Jura, France
Performance with Phil Maggi and Xavier Dubois an the Labelnight of SubRosa records, Brussels, Belgium.
Performance at Metamorph – Bucharest International Poetry Festival
Performance with Soplarte on the glass instruments for Musikfestspiele Potsdam, Sans Souci, Germany.