Wednesday 30 July 2014

Grimeborn 2014

Grimeborn 2014
The Grimeborn Festival returns on 4 August 2014 with the eighth festival at Arcola Theatre in Dalston celebrating small scale opera with large ambitions. Running until 7 September, this year's festival includes 10 productions varying from Massenet, Handel and Monteverdi to new opera, plus 20th century classics from Menotti and Maxwell Davies.

Productions are generally small scale, with accompaniment from piano or a small instrumental ensemble. They are presented in the theatres Studio 1 and Studio 2, which means, for good or ill, that audiences are never far from the action. But it is a chance to hear some fine up and coming performers and see the work of some interesting directors.
Gian Carlo Menotti is a composer whose works tend to get neglected by larger scale opera companies. Operaview is giving us a welcome chance to see The Medium directed by Natalie Katsou, musical director Maite Aguirre.  Peter Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King gets a new staging from Melos Sinfonia and Helios Chamber Opera, Ella Marchment directs with Oliver Zeffman conducting, and the work is paired with Walton's Facade.

The Arcola Theatre's own production of Massenet's Werther is directed by Aylin Bozok (who gave us an interesting take on Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande last year). The cast includes Adam Tunnicliffe and Katie Bray. Another classic is Handel's Acis and Galatea which Eboracum Baroque perform with a small period instrument ensemble. The production is directed by Jennifer Bakst and conducted by Chris Parsons, with Gareth Edmunds and Naomi Sturges in the title roles.

Ryedale Festival's production of The Coronation of Poppea
Ryedale Festival's production of The Coronation of Poppea
Ryedale Festival is bringing its production of Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea, directed by Nina Brazier, musical director Christopher Glynn conducts Eboracum Baroque, with a cast including Elizabeth Holmes as Poppea, Stephanie Marshall as Nerone, Ben Williamson as Ottone and Maria Ostroukhova as Ottavia. The work is sung in English in a new translation by John Warrack

New operas include Tim Benjamin's Madame X, which is inspired by Jacobean revenge drama and Handel's Italian operas (there is a trailer for the opera on-line). Women Box is a triple bill of music theatre, with works by Anna Meredith, Jennifer Walshe and Laura Bowler presented by Size Zero Opera and the Ligeti Quartet. Marsyas Trio, Size Zero Opera and Smoking Apples present Shadows of Time, performed by shadow puppets and a trio of amplified flute, cello and piano, telling the story of a planet travelling through time, with music by Mario Lavista, George Crumb and Laura Bowler.

Aikainen is an opera by Miika Hyytiainen presented by ExClam! with vocal artists and singers Annika Fuhrmann and Frauke Aulbert, instrumental group Carjo Ensemble and composer Miika Hyytiainen writing music write time.  We are promised 3D printed Ocarinas, Mobius strip sc0res, 3D Norns and the whole spectrum of the human voice from cattle call tries to overtone singing and dramatic opera.

Further information from the Arcola Theatre website. See our reviews from last years festival.

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