A Laugh to Cry

New Op-Era

A Laugh to Cry explores some primary concerns, which have always haunted human beings, and reveals them from the perspective of our contemporary globalized world. This gains shape through a meditation on the hegemonic power of the destruction of memory, the devastation of the Earth and even the collapse of humanity.

The Opera evolves in the fringes between dream and reality; between the visible and invisible. It is divided in several acts where five characters, two sopranos, one bass and two narrators (a female and a male voice), live and dwell constantly between these two parallels. It also involves 7 acoustic instruments: flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion, live-electronics and extended video scenography.

A Laugh to Cry is a metaphysical theatre embodying eternal archetypes with music and multilingual libretto (PDF) by Miguel Azguime. 

A Laugh to Cry pursues Miguel Azguime’s goal, as a poet and composer, to grasp an ideal balance between language and music, to merge the language’s semantic and metaphorical components with its sonic values, in order to achieve his concept of “speech as music and music as speech”. A Laugh to Cry extends Miguel Azguime’s research on voice analysis, re-synthesis and processing, aiming at creating a dynamic continuum between timbre, harmony, rhythm and voice spectra.



Miguel Azguime (Portugal) – music and text composition, performance & concept 
Paula Azguime (Portugal) – stage director, video composition & concept
Frances M. Lynch (UK) – soprano
Nicholas Isherwood (USA / France) – bass baritone
Marina Pacheco (Portugal) – soprano
Ágata Mandillo (Portugal) – speaker
Miguel Azguime (Portugal) – speaker
Petter Sundkvist (Sweden) – conductor
Norrbotten NEO (Sweden) – flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, viola and cello
Photographs of “anonymous bushes” by João Cutileiro, kindly granted by the author


Perseu Mandillo (Portugal) – technology director | VFX | 3D & photography
André Perrotta (Brazil) – audio & video software development | CITAR Researcher
Andre Bartetzki (Germany) – live electronics software development
André Baltazar (Portugal) – motion capture software development | CITAR Researcher
Atalaia 31 – wardrobe
Miso Studio (Portugal) – technology

see trailer A Laugh to Cry on YouTube

The avant-premiere took place on July 18 / 19 at the São Luiz Municipal Theatre in Lisbon.

The world-premiere took place on September 27 at the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music.

The first tour of the opera A Laugh to Cry took place in Sweden in October 2013.


FaLang translation system by Faboba