Wednesday 29 January 2014

Mahogany Opera + Opera Group = Mahogany Opera Group

Gloria: A Pigtale - The opposite of love is sausages
Mahogany Opera's recent successes include last year's tour of Britten's Church Parables). The Opera Group's recent successes have included Kurt Weill's Street Scene, George Benjamin's Into the Little Hill and David Bruce's The Firework-makers Daughter, but their output has also included some stinkers (though a friend over at Classical Iconoclast regards them as 'one of the most innovative companies in this country'). Now the two groups have announced that they are to merge and create Mahogany Opera Group. Frederic Wake-Walker is currently artistic director of both groups and he will be at the helm of the new group, with John Gilhooly as chair.

According to Wake-Walker the new group will, 'create bespoke operas customised to different spaces and places throughout the UK and internationally - presenting each distinct project with a vitality that stretches the boundaries of what opera can be and who it is for'. Hmmm.

The group's forthcoming production is HK Gruber's cabaret opera Gloria - A Pigtale directed by Wake-Walker and starring Gillian Keith. It features a lonely pig looking for love, and a chorus of sausages! The production will be touring to Hull, Norwich, Buxton, the Royal Opera House and Bregenz (it is a co-production with the Bregenz Festival).

Other projects include a newly-commissioned 'concept-album opera' from Emily Hall and Icelandic poet Sjon which will feature the Swedish/Ethiopian jazz singer Sofia Jernberg, and a 24-hour 'meditation opera' by Rolf Hind exploring Mindfulness. In collaboration with Sound and Music, the company is working with two emerging composers Ergo Phizmiz and Jamie Man on a community opera in collaboration with Jubilee Opera.

Further information from Mahogany Opera Group's website.

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