Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Rough For Opera

Edward Henderson's Manspangled at the 2014 Tete a Tete Opera Festival
Edward Henderson's Manspangled
at the 2014 Tete a Tete Opera Festival
Rough for Opera, Second Movement's scratch night for opera, has two events planned in the forthcoming months and both are full of exciting new opera projects which are being tried out before a live audience. Both take place at the Cockpit Theatre, London NW8 8EH, on 16 March and on 15 June 2015. There are some intriguing works on offer with a wide range of styles and performers. Each work is followed by a q and a led by Professor Paul Barker of the Central School of Speech and Drama.

On 16 March, Tom Randle's new piece A Telephone Call  with a libretto by Randle himself and director Nina Brazier, features soprano Gillian Keith. The work observes two very different women experiencing extreme emotional states. Randle is perhaps best known for his work as a distinguished operatic tenor, but this is his second opera. Composer Edward Henderson and librettist Lavinia Murray's new piece Hum explores listening and perception, and includes a ten-strong chorus playing tuning forks, plastic rubbish and bells. Anyone who saw their piece Manspangled at Rough for Opera last year (see my review) will know that will will be in for something striking. VEAL by Leo Hurley (music) and Daniel Solon (libretto) is inspired by real life events and follows the final 12 hour journey of 25 year old Andrew "Andy" Veal from Athens, Georgia to his suicide at Ground Zero in 2004.

On 15 June, Aaron Holloway-Nahum’s The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst (libretto by Peter Jones) looks at the real-life story of amateur yachtsman Donald Crowhurst’s doomed participation in the 1969 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Psychological Tales is three short dramatic works presented by the contemporary quartet The Hermes Experiment. Written by composer Jonathan Woolgar, Lloyd Coleman and Ed Scolding, the work weaves different psychological states with free improvisation from graphic scores. Josh Spear’s He/Himselfie with a text by Spear and Richard Dodwell, incorporates audio, video and movement to explore issues surrounding the male body.

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