As a result of a unique collaboration, the Antwerp ensembles Bel Ayre and BOX may now be regarded as fully fledged artists-in-residence at Happaert House.
The baroque ensemble Bel Ayre was hosted by Happaert House in early July 2012 for the rehearsal of their two new Venetian programmes, which premiered in Venice a few days later.
This occasion, however, also provided the backdrop for celebrating the foundation of BOX Office vzw, the overarching organisation of which both the Bel Ayre and BOX - baroque orchestration X ensembles are now a part.
As a result of the collaboration, avant-premières by both ensembles will now be a regular feature at Happaert House. Foreign artists and other invitees of both groups will henceforth be greeted in style in the magnificent surrounds of the historic Happaert House in the heart of Antwerp.
'BOX - baroque orchestration X' is an ensemble renowned for its use of baroque instruments in collaboration with non-classical artists primarily from the indie rock world. BOX was founded in the summer of 2010 by the lutist Pieter Theuns. They performed live for the first time at TEDx Flanders 2010 with 'A Baroque Remix Manifesto', a performance based on music by PJ Harvey, Radiohead and Dez Mona.
Their debut project, 'BOX=white chalk/amnesiac' is a complete recast of the albums 'White Chalk' by PJ Harvey and 'Amnesiac' by Radiohead. This project was performed at Flagey in Brussels during the June 2012 Festival Musiq'3 and was broadcast live via radio.
BOX also worked together with the Antwerp group The Golden Glows on the project 'A Folk Songbook' which, among others, appeared at Amuz in Antwerp and at the Feeërieën in Brussels. BOX created the ballad opera Sága in 2011 in collaboration with Dez Mona. It premièred at the Klarafestival 2011 at Flagey, and at deSingel in Antwerp. Sága has since been performed on radio and TV and at several prestigious venues both in Belgium and abroad. As of next year, BOX will be working on a large-scale project involving five singers and a chamber orchestra around the central figure of Shara Worden, the renowned American singer from the indie band My Brightest Diamond. This project is a co-production with deSingel (Antwerp) and the Kampnagel Centre for Fine Arts (Hamburg, DE).