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Monday, 27 July 2015

Merging opera, theatre and dance

Clown of Clowns
Created in 2011 by the young composer and conductor Leo Geyer, Constella Ballet and Orchestra has in recent years produced a series of shows which merge opera, theatre and dance. Leo Geyer's jazz-inspired theatre piece Side Shows premiered last year (see my review) and the company is returning to it this paired with a new dramatic production of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. The double bill, Clown of Clowns, is at the Grimeborn Festival, at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston from 4-8 August 2015.
 In both shows the company's familiar style is present, with the instrumentalists costumed and part of the action and at the Arcola Theatre there will be a real sense of immersive theatre. Pierrot Lunaire will be performed by mezzo-soprano Emma Stannard and dancer Matt Petty with choreography by Alfred Taylor-Gaunt and directed by Joel Fisher. The ensemble is conducted by Leo Geyer, who also features as the Ring Master in his own Side Shows which presents a series of Circus acts in a work which merges opera, theatre and dance to create a dazzling and entertaining whole. I enjoyed Side Shows when I saw it last year, saying in my review - 'All in all this is what modern opera should be, complex yet approachable, highly characterised and brilliantly realised.' - and have no doubt that the new double bill will be just as thought provoking and entertaining.

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