After its successful launch last year, GRIMEBORN – An Opera Season is back at Arcola for three weeks of theatrical innovation from the frontline of contemporary music and performance.
Monday 11 August
Ash is a black comedy about staying young forever. Sarah is an angry teenager, rebelling against her mother’s controlling influence by playing organ in a crematorium. Her mother, Louise, is in reckless pursuit of a man 20 years younger than herself: a man who proves to be little more than a fantasy, an image of death. With the action moving from operating theatre to sitting room, from crematorium to health spa, from nightclub to the open road, Ash is a satire on contemporary life, with mediaeval undertones.
Composer: Rachel Fuller
Librettist/Director: Jack Shepherd
Tuesday 12 August
Wednesday 13 August
OPERA OF SURVEILLANCE by Conversations with Sound and The Irrepressibles
Cult pop orchestra The Irrepressibles and site-specific choir Conversations with Sound will create a fantasia of audience experiences utilizing the context and performance space. Expanding on their practice of theatricalising the mundane, the choir will create a generative score that interacts with the orchestra and Turner Duffin’s manipulation, the audience becoming central to a narrative of sounds. Previous experiments include free performances on London Underground, Greenwich Tunnel and other public spaces.
Composer/Voice Practitioner: Jamie McDermott
Sound Design: William Turner Duffin
Friday 15 August, Saturday 16 August
MY FEET MAY TAKE A LITTLE WHILE (The Errollyn Wallen Songbook)
Errollyn Wallen – ‘renaissance woman of contemporary British music’ (The Observer) is as respected as a composer of contemporary new music as she is a songwriter of pop influenced songs. Four emerging young opera singers (Gillian Ramm, Sarah-Jane Lewis, David Webb, Callum Thorpe) are joining her in the first staging of her celebrated songbook: a spiritual quest that starts in today’s London and leads to the open road.
Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by the Hinrichsen Foundation.
Composer/Music Director: Errollyn Wallen
Director: Daniele Guerra