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Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Wild Rumpus in Alexandra Palace

Knussen: Where the Wild Things Are - Shadwell Opera (Photo Shadwell Opera)
Knussen: Where the Wild Things Are - Shadwell Opera (Photo Shadwell Opera)
I have happy memories of seeing Oliver Knussen's Where the Wild Things Are at Glyndebourne in the 1980s in a double bill with Knussen's Higglety Pigglety Pop! (The latter so knew that it was unfinished and one passage was done just with piano accompaniment). Now Jack Furness and Shadwell Opera are doing a new concert staging of Where the Wild Things Are on Saturday 26 October 2019 at Alexandra Palace Theatre.

Exploring themes of imagination, childhood and wildness the opera is based on a story by Maurice Sendak, and is appealing to children whilst addressing issues complex enough for adults. Knussen's score has plenty to enjoy in it (not to mention the take off of the Coronation Scene from Mussorgsky's Boris Godounov) and children love it too.

The Shadwell Opera performance features a fine cast of up and coming young singers including Rhian Lois (as Max) with Kate Howden, Robin Bailey, Benedict Nelson, Nicholas Morris and Tom Bennett, directed by Jack Furness with costumes by Hannah Wolfe and Movement Direction by Rebecca Meltzer. Finn Downie-Dear conducts the 48-piece orchestra, which will be on stage rather than hidden in the pit.

Shadwell opera is using the opera and its story as a starting point for a number of workshops for 180 schoolchildren in two local schools in Haringey, focussing on the themes of fantasy, childhood and wildness. Workshop participants and their siblings will be offered free tickets to the performance at Alexandra Palace.

Children and adults will be encouraged to dress up as Wild Things - You have been warned!

Full details from Shadwell Opera's website

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