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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