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Nick Cave Contributes To New Opera, 'L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S'
Christian Eede , October 12th, 2020 13:13

The Australian artist has written the libretto for Belgian composer Nicholas Lens' new work

Nick Cave has written the libretto for a new opera by Belgian composer Nicholas Lens called L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S.

The pair started work on the opera at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when they found themselves with some unexpected free time due to lockdown restrictions. Lens took inspiration for the project from bicycle journeys around Brussels as well as previous travels to Japanese temples. You can listen to one of the 12 pieces written by Cave, 'Litany Of The Forsaken', sung by Nicholas Lens' daughter Clara-Lane, above.

"Nicholas called me during lockdown and asked if I would write 12 litanies. I happily agreed," Nick Cave says of his work on the opera. "The first thing I did after I put down the phone was search 'What is a litany?' I learned that a litany was a series of religious petitions, and realised I had been writing litanies all my life."

This is Cave's second foray into working with Lens on operas after he wrote the text for Lens' 2014 work Shell Shock.

Deutsche Grammophon will release L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S on December 4, 2020.