L’ALQUIMISTA in Barcelona

Next week we will begin the rehearsals for music theater performance L'ALQUIMISTA in Barcelona, at the Teatro Nacional de Catalunya. Michael De Cock created and directs a theatre adaptation of the book The Abyss by Belgian writer Marguerite Yourcenar. Lutenist Jurgen De bruyn joins the stage and, together with composer Alain Franco, provides the soundtrack for the story, which is set in 16th-century Europe with a focus on the last years of the Bruges doctor and alchemist Zeno and on universal themes of humanity and freedom in turbulent times.

The premiere will take place on the 11th of May 2023. The tickets are on sale vie TNC.


The Mass Man in Amsterdam

De Theaterkrant describes The Mass Man as "intriguing musical meditation on mass, power and manipulation".
The full review is available on the website.


MAfestival - PREMIERE

We had the pleasure of showing THE MASS MAN to a sold out audience in Concertgebouw Brugge. Prior to the performance, Muziektheater Transparant director Wouter Van Looy and artistic director of Zefiro Torna Jurgen De bruyn shared their thoughts with the audience. They explained how Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti and his masterly book on the themes of mass and power, medieval crusader songs and film images by Wim Catrysse form the raw material for a gripping music theatre performance.

Theatre critic Johan Thielemans wrote an engaging review.


CD release Time Crawls

The CD TIME CRAWLS is out on the label HOMERECORDS.BE and also available on our webshop (> CD).

Zefiro Torna takes us into a timeless universe with a reinterpretation of the 17th century broken consort music. Melodies intuitively created by flute player Jowan Merckx received a new arrangement for flute, violin, viola da gamba, violone, harp and lute by composers Marnix De Cat and Martin Valcke. The new written music bears traces of baroque and traditional music from all over Europe. The music, which is sometime melancholic, sometimes nimble and festive, fascinates by its ingeniously crafted texture and invites to dance.


BALSAM on tour

This autumn, the alchemistic laboratory BALSAM with Laika, Theatre of the Senses will be on tour again. After two series of performances at the Boulevard Festival in Den Bosch and Cultura Nova in Heerlen in August, the team is ready for it! Prepare yourself for a bewitching ritual in which music, scents and flavours immerse you in the shimmering world of alchemy. Besides the Greenwich+Docks International Festival in London and a tour to Portugal and France, BALSAM also passes by a number of Belgian venues.

--> Take a look in the agenda for all dates


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— a new Musikalisches Opfer (2020)

ZEFIRO TORNA - Ensemble Variances - AMVK

Taking J.S. Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer as a starting point, ZEFIRO TORNA, ENSEMBLE VARIANCES (FR) and visual artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven (AMVK) join forces in an exceptional program around the symbol of the retrograde. Underneath a purely technical charm seems to lie hidden a symbolic purpose. Maybe it is an attempt to control the relentlessly ongoing concept of time? Is it the expression of a negative world view: a waning society in full regression? Or could it be a magical intervention: is it actually possible to rewind an event and undo it by chanting or playing backwards? Or can we, this way, connect the end with the beginning, the alpha with the omega?

Throughout music history, musical puzzles and chanting backwards have been a returning particularity. Emblematic scores in the shape of a lobster carrying the world on its back (Cancer Cancrizans), circular compositions that depict the circle of life or music relating to the symbol of the labyrinth or of self-sacrifice form the common thread through the BACHC®AB programme. The audience travels from the 14th-century song En la maison Dedalus or the 15th-century Tout par compas suy composés, to the ritual dances of the 20th and 21st centuries with George Crumb and Thierry Pécou, whose Miraris Mundum received its world premiere. Heinz Holliger explores the physical limits of the individual performer while Louis Andriessen’s Inanna’s Descent recounts the journey of the mythological Sumerian goddess to the underworld. The enigmatic canons from Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer connect old and new.

A video artwork by Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven reinforces the ritualistic character of this concert.

Zefiro Torna

  • Annelies Van Gramberen voice
  • Kristien Ceuppens oboe, cor anglais
  • Dimos De Beun recorder, clavicymbalum
  • Liam Fennelly viola da gamba, fiddle
  • Jurgen De bruyn mandolin, archlute

Jurgen De bruyn concept, musical direction
Dr. Prof. Katelijne Schiltz musicological research
Anne-mie Van Kerckhoven visual art
Gert Aertsen video technique

Ensemble Variances (FR)

  • Carjez Gerretsen (bass) clarinet
  • Thierry Pécou or Marie Vermeulin piano
  • Elisa Humanes, David Joignaux, Arnaud Lassus percussion
  • Thierry Pécou artistic direction of Ensemble Variances

In coproduction with DE SINGEL, Antwerp and with the support of The Flemish Community and the Belgian Federal Government’s Tax Shelter