Wednesday, 4 March 2020

From The Velvet Room to Tabla and Tap: the new cohort of artists taking part in Opera North's Resonance

Abel Selaocoe © Ben Bonouvrier
Abel Selaocoe © Ben Bonouvrier
Opera North has announced a new intake of artists for Resonance, its residency scheme from BAME music makers. Taking part in 2020 will be British-Egyptian mezzo-soprano Camille Maalawy, cellist Abel Selaocoe, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer Pariss Elektra, composer, vocalist and film maker Dan Loops, tabla player, producer and educator Bhupinder Chaggar and writer-director Omari Swanston-Jeffers.

Resonance is Opera North's programme which offers time, space and resources to professional artists from BAME backgrounds working in any genre of music and based in the North of England, to take their work in new directions, to experiment with collaborators and new ideas, and to test the results in front of audiences. A new sitar concerto by Jasdeep Singh Degun, premiered by the orchestra of Opera North last month, was the result of Jasdeep Singh Degun's participation in a Resonance residency with Opera North.

Omari Swanston-Jeffers
Omari Swanston-Jeffers
  • Camille Maalawy will be bringing the traditions of Arabic song and western opera together, collaborating with principal nay player in the Orchestra of the Cairo Opera House Mina Mikhael Salama, and Guy Schalom, a percussionist who specialises in Arabic and klezmer music. 
  • Abel Selaocoe will work on original solo music for the cello that reimagines or is influenced by different stringed instruments from the African continent, working with specialist musicians including Sidiki Dembele, a master of the West African djembe, ngoni and kora. 
  • Pariss Elektra will work on The Velvet Room, a ‘live music performance triptych’ that features her band, Pariss & The Presence, interacting with projection mapped visuals and animation by visual artist Natasha Joseph. 
  • Dan Loops will continue his journey into theatre-making with the lives of three characters, rapper, a poet and an actor, charted through an overlapping combination of hip hop, acoustic and classical score. 
  • Bhupinder Chaggar will develop his vision for a coming together of Indian classical Kathak dance, tap dance, percussion and electronic production - Tabla and Tap
  • Omari Swanston-Jeffers will develop a narrative centred around music, dance and community. 3NEGUS,  collaborating with singer-songwriter, producer and composer Christella Litras, whose soundtrack for a full-length animated film began life in the first round of Resonance residencies in 2018 and Pariss Elektra from the latest cohort of artists.

Full details from Opera North website

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