Wednesday, 7 January 2015

More than a Pocket Macbeth

Paul Featherstone and Pamela Hay in EPOC's Orfeo in 2014
Paul Featherstone & Pamela Hay in EPOC's Orfeo in 2014
Following up on their performances of Gluck's Orfeo ed Eurydice last year, English Pocket Opera Company (EPOC) is again collaborating with young designers at Central St Martin's to perform Verdi's Macbeth. Eight students from Central St Martin's BA (hons) Performance Design and Practice course (Emily Bestow, Rosie Elliott-Dancs, Katrina Felice, Harriet Fowler, Rosie Gibbens, Alice Guile, Rosemary Millbank, Roisin Straver) will design the sets and costumes. Macbeth is sung by Keel Watson with Anna Gregory as Lady Macbeth and Simon Wilding as Banquo. Philip Voldman is the music director and Paul Featherstone the director. Also taking part will be the 40-strong EPOC Community Chorus.

The performances use Andrew Porter's English translation and will be adapted to last 90 minutes, so expect a high-octane ride! There are five performances between 27 and 31 January 2015, and two of these are schools performances. The company's ethos is aimed at introducing school children to opera in as lively and imaginative way possible; all done on a shoe-string with excellent feedback from audience members and teachers. But the imaginative productions are not just for schools, and the public performances mean that everyone can enjoy the student designer's unusual takes on the design brief for an opera.

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