Thursday 29 October 2015

Toi Toi 2015 - Hugill, Mosley, Ergo Phizmiz, Judith Weir and more

Robert Hugill 'The Genesis of Frankenstein' - The Helios Collective at CLF Arts Cafe as part of TOi Toi 2015
Robert Hugill The Genesis of Frankenstein
The Helios Collective with Mimi Jaeger, Anuschka Socher, Isolde Roxby, Noah Mosley
at CLF Arts Cafe as part of Toi Toi 2015

Robert Hugill The Genesis of Frankenstein The Helios Collective Isolde Roxby, Noah Mosely, Tom Asher at CLF Arts Cafe as part of Toi Toi 2015
Robert Hugill The Genesis of Frankenstein
The Helios Collective
Isolde Roxby, Noah Mosley, Tom Asher at
CLF Arts Cafe as part of Toi Toi 2015
My opera was The Genesis of Frankenstein was premiered last night 28 October 2015 at the CLF Arts Cafe as part of the Helios Collective's Toi Toi 2015, an operatic club night which included my new opera and a scene from a new opera by Noah Mosely both performed by the Helios Collective, director Ella Marchment, conductor Noah Mosley, Mimi Doulton in Judith Weir's King Harald's Saga, the all-female pop opera band Ida, Ergo Phizmiz performing Vogel Europa, the Hermes Experiment performing Jethro Cooke's work from their new piece Metropolis and the reggae band General Skank. You can see a short video from The Genesis of Frankenstein after the break, and the show is on again tonight if you missed it!

The CLF Arts Cafe is a casual space on the first floor of a warehouse in Peckham which seems to be bursting with arts (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists was being performed upstairs). The space has a small stage, a bar and lots of sofas allowing a more casual attitude to concert and opera going but it was noticeable that the audience last night was particularly attentive and listening to the new music rather than concentrating on their drinks!

We started with the final scene from Noah Mosley's opera July 20th 1944 - A Last Farewell which deals with the conspiracy to kill Hitler in 1944. The libretto is by Ivo Mosley and the scene was directed by Ella Marchment with Isolde Roxby as Clarita von Trott, Emily Kyte as the Commandant, plus Tom Asher and Faye Evelyn. The powerful last scene deals with the aftermath with a big duet for the lead conspirator's wife and the commandant of the prison where she is incarcerated.

Mimi Doulton then gave an astonishing and virtuosic staged performance of Judith Weir's King Harald's Saga an opera in three acts and epilogue about King Harald Hardrada's ill fated invasion of England in 1066, all performed by a solo soprano (who takes eight roles). A real tour de force.

My opera The Genesis of Frankenstein was directed by Ella Marchment and conducted by Noah Mosley who also sang the tenor role, with soprano Isolde Roxby and baritone Tom Asher. Choreography was by Sarah Louise Kristiansen with the dancers Anuschka Sochr, Ughetta Pratesi, and Lindsey Fraser. The musicians (who also performed in Noah Mosely's opera) were Helen Favre-Bulle (piano), Mimi Jaeger (cello), David Mear (clarinet), and Lyri Milgram (violin).

The Hermes Experiment -- Heloise Werner (soprano), Oliver Pashley (clarinets), Anne denholm (harp), Marianne Schofield (double bass), brought part of their new show Metropolis. This was a piece devised by Jethro Cooke, with video and found sounds evoking London over which the musicians improvised.

Ida is a three woman band, featuring Laura Coutts, Wendy Carr and Bridget Costello. Accompanied by Nick Barstow on piano, they included arrangements of the Habanera from Bizet's Carmen and Rusalka's Song to the Moon by Dvorak (in Czech), with more popular pieces such as one by Jessie J. Ergo Phizmiz's Vogel Europa was an amazing one man opera, inspired by a mixture of influences from Robert Ashley, Bruno Schulz to the Dadaists in which Ergo Phizmiz played, sang, recited and used found material. Finally the evening ended with a set from the local reggae band General Skank.

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