Nick Cave and Nicholas Lens Collaborate on New Opera L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S

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Nick Cave has written the libretto for L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S, a new opera by Belgian composer Nicholas Lens. They developed the opera at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic when both artists had unexpected free time due to lockdown measures. According to a press release, Lens was inspired by his bicycle journeys around Brussels and previous travels to Japanese temples.

“Nicholas called me during lockdown and asked if I would write 12 litanies. I happily agreed,” Nick Cave said in a statement. “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.”

L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S will be released on December 4 (via Deutsche Grammophon). Below, listen to “Litany of The Forsaken,” sung by Nicholas Lens’ daughter Clara-Lane.

Nick Cave previously wrote the text for Lens’ 2014 opera Shell Shock.


01 Litany of Divine Absence
02 Litany of the First Encounter
03 Litany of Blooming
04 Litany of The Sleeping Dream
05 Litany of The Yearning
06 Litany of Fragmentation
07 Litany of The Forsaken
08 Litany of Gathering Up
09 Litany of Transformation
10 Litany of Godly Love
11 Litany of The Unnamed
12 Litany of Divine Presence

<h1 class="title">Nicholas Lens / Nick Cave: L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S</h1>

Nicholas Lens / Nick Cave: L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S

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