The ever enterprising Tete-a-Tete opera company, directed by Bill Bankes-Jones, are in the middle of their 3 week opera festival at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.
The aim is to offer a wide range of diverse contemporary takes on opera, ranging from fully formed stage performances to workshops or merest sketches to allow composers to try things out and perhaps, take them to another level. It is a format which they originated at Battersea Arts Centre and works well, because it gives us composers the chance to put something before the public. And find out what the reaction is.
The evenings are organised in 3 parts, with Starters, Mains and Afters. The Starters and Mains are the meat of the performances, the Afters are the fun bits in which writers and performers involved in the festival perform and improvise.
Inevitably the Hammersmith location is not ideal for everyone, but we hope to be going to a couple of the performances. This week includes a new piece based on Ionesco's La Cantatrice Chauve by French composers Jean-Philippe Calvin and Broken Voices a new multimedia performance by Terry Smith and Linda Hirst based on music by Monteverdi. Then at the end of the evening there's a chance to hear Jean-Philippe Calvin and Stefan Tiedje performing electronic music. Quite a mix for one evening.