Wednesday 23 January 2013

Flicker - new opera on Locked-In Syndrome

Music can sometimes illuminate areas that text on its own cannot. There is an opportunity to find out how this might work when dealing with difficult human problems at a single performance tomorrow, 24 January, of a challenging new opera at Sadlers Wells Theatre. Flicker deals with Locked-In Syndrome, with a woman locked inside her body, unable to communicate in any way. With words by Poppy Burton-Morgan and music by Jon Nicholls, this new contemporary chamber opera is being presented by Metta Theatre, a company founded in 2005 by Burton-Morgan and William Reynolds, that presents imaginative, visual theatre combining words, music, projection, puppetry and circus to create meta-theatrical work. They join forces with the Aurora Orchestra for the 24 January performance.

The piece is intended to tell a human story, whilst providing insight into cutting edge assitive technologies. The text draws on transcripts from patients and staff at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, and the performance mixes live music with electroacoustic soundscapes and video projection

Jon Nicholls is a Prix Italia-nominated composer and sound designer with over fifteen years' experience of composing music and sound scores for drama and documentary on TV, radio, film and in the theatre. He has form in opera too, having composed a number of other opera/music-theatre pieces including Falling Across which was commissioned by the Birmingham Collide Festival, and Blunderbuss a music-theatre piece in collaboration with writer Tom Morton-Smith, performed at the Theatre, Chipping Norton and Latitude in 2009.

The cast includes George Humphreys, Anna Dennis and Alison Crookendale, with conductor Andrew Gourlay. The production is currently in development and will be presented in a semi-staged concert performance. It is created in collaboration with the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability, supported by the Wellcome Trust and English Touring Theatre.

Further information from the Metta Theatre website, and on-line booking at the Sadler's Wells website. 

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