Julia Holter: The Passion of Joan of Arc

An orange distorted image of Julia Holter's face on a black background.

The composer and singer performs her original score to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc – often considered to be one of the finest silent films ever made.

‘The images from the film are really striking – powerful,’ Holter says. ‘The scenes where she’s being questioned leaves me with the feeling of being suffocated. It’s intense.’ She responds to this intensity with an understated beauty, arranging her score for synthesizer, viola and percussion. Cutting through the swells of the ensemble, Holter’s vocals merge with the mighty 36-strong Chorus of Opera North, giving voice to Joan of Arc – plaintive chant rising out of the flames.

This project follows Holter's scores for 2016 film Bleed for This and Channel 4 series Pure, which is unsurprising considering the cinematic quality of her music. She creates texturally radiant songs, smearing symphonic arrangements with hazy effects. Then there’s her voice, effortlessly and ethereally lilting above her ornate orchestrations.

This event will start promptly at the advertised start time and running times will be confirmed closer to the event. 

Produced by the Barbican in association with the Brudenell Social Club

Co-commissioned by Opera North Projects

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