Maja Jantar (http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Jantar.php) is a multilingual and polysonic voice artist and opera director living in Ghent, Belgium, whose work spans the fields of performance, opera, 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.
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 Vincent Tholomé and Angela Rawlings.
Some of her visual poetry has appeared in various publications, amongst others 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, and SecondRoom in Ghent. She is curently working on a solo release of her album reAd and just finished collaborating with Vincent Tholomé on an album version of Cavalcade, and with Angela Rawlings on recordings of Vö|va dual vocal work. There are also plans to make public some of her LUNALIA collaborations, amongst others with Simon Pomery and Xavier Dubois.
For the last three years she has been working with the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders to create a new concept for their family concert in december. The first year – Ontdek me. Alies (Discover me Alies) was created, the second year it was ‘Ali Baba’ and this year ‘Werewolves’ will première. The shows are played in the main Flemish concert halls: de Singel in Antwerp, and Concertgebouw Brugge. Last autumn, she was invited to direct West Side Story, for OdeGand, the opening day of the Festival of Flanders Ghent, with choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. ‘The Waves Wash over the Signal of the Incoming Train’, project with Bianconero and wonderful pianist Nathalie Alessi toured in the US and Italy in November 2015 ( extended vocals and text).
Upcoming projects include a dadaistic poetry box workshop for The Brussels Poerty Festival in September; in October, an Exhibition around Flann O’Brian at Été 78 in Brussels with new artwork; a performance in Barcelona for Vocal Vertebrae; singing Kafka Fragmente by György Kúrtag at festival in Moskou; Residency with Vincent Tholomé at Abatoirs de Bomel in Namur and The Symphony of Flanders ‘Warewolves’ concert in december.
1995-2000 : Art Sciences, specialization 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.
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
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’.