Wednesday 19 July 2017

Opera in the City

Opera in the City
Summer in London seems very much the time for fringe opera productions, showcasing both new composers and new opera talent in existing repertoire, along with the occasional rarity which tempts those opera nerds amongst us. Opera in the City is a new festival, presented by Time Zone Theatre (artistic director Pamela Schermann) at the Bridewell Theatre from 1 - 12 August 2017. They are presenting four different evenings of opera, with an emphasis on rarity and innovation with works by Rimsky Korsakov, Mascagni, Zemlinsky, Simone Spagnolo, and Sarah Toth, as well as a tribute to Mario Lanza.

Rimsky Korsakov's Mozart and Salieri, his one-act Pushkin-based opera exploring the apocryphal story that Salieri poisoned Mozart, is being paired with Mascagni's one-act opera Zanetto, exploring the familiar themes of courtesans and lost love! Perhaps more intense, the company is also performing Zemlinsky's Oscar Wilde-based piece A Florentine Tragedy in which a couple discover the erotic power of murder! All three operas are part of Time Zone Theatre's Fin de Siecle project exploring operas written around 1900.

A double bill of a completely different kind is also being presented at the festival when two experimental works, Simone Spagnolo's Even you lights, cannot hear me and Sarah Toth's Nero monologues are performed as a double bill. Spagnolo's work for two opera singers doubling on piano and pebbles merges elements of operatic singing, chamber music and performance art. Sarah Toth's piece, for singer, dancer, piano, and string quartet, draws on material by Monteverdi, Handel, Copland, and György Kurtág to create a multi-art form pastiche chamber opera.

Finally, the festival is also presenting Lanza a tribute to the 1950s singer Mario Lanza.

Full details from the Opera in the City website.

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