|Audience and chorus at |
Mahogany Opera Group's Various Stages
Palace of Junk, music by Oliver Brignall, words by Poppy Burton-Morgan (who also directed) was presented by Metta Theatre with Peter Brathaite (baritone), Richard Burkhard (baritone) and the Riot Ensemble (trombone, accordion, cello, violin, percussion and electronics). We heard a single scene from a longer opera about a real life pair of brothers in the 1940s who hoarded to such an extent (12 pianos!) that they eventually died in the house. The final product will use video extensively, and we were given a taster with video projections during the scene. It proved a very powerful and imaginative work, particularly the sound world with its use of found-objects for percussion. The company is hoping to ultimately create a production which is immersive, and the electronics used in the performance were all reactive.
In a Grove, music by Christopher Cerrone, words by Stehanie Fleischmann, was directed by Brian Mertes, with Richard Burkhard (baritone), Abigail Kelly (soprano), Christopher Lemmings (tenor), Tom Verney (counter-tenor), the Riot Ensemble (vibraphone and percussion) and Christopher Cerrone (electronics). We saw a single scene from a larger work which is still in development, the opera is based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short story In a Grove (1922) in which multiple characters tell the story of the same murder from their own point of view. The music we heard was completely mesmeric, with a beautifully calm hypnotic quality.