An Opera Festival Week 3

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.

Grimeborn was conceived to give young companies and old masters the opportunity to show their work in a venue that appreciates the diversity of theatrical forms and highlight the performance as much as the music.

Monday 18 August *Triple Bill – 3 shows for £10*

A dramatisation of an excerpt from the song cycle Acts of Beauty, by the composer of The Piano. With the singer Marie Angel.
Composer: Michael Nyman
Director: Nigel Lowery


Almost two hundred years ago a teenage boy appeared on the Streets of Nuremberg. He could hardly speak but knew how to write his name: Kaspar Hauser. Theories and speculation about this strange and mysterious figure continue to this day. The opera Kaspar Hauser is inspired by Jakob Wassermann’s 1908 novel, Caspar Hauser. Scenes from Alexis Pope´s new score are presented by a cast of young singers after a one-week workshop.
Composer: Alexis Pope
Librettist/director: Anke Rauthmann
Musical director: Philip Headlam
Designer: Num Stibbe


PIERROT LUNAIRE by Cornucopia Theatre Company
A dynamic new visual theatre dramatisation of Arnold Schoenberg’s classic score and Albert Giraud‘s poetry. Mime, live music, dance, masks and puppetry collide in one twisted city night. Three times seven poems tell urban stories of a forceful present and fabled past. Be Moondrunk with Pierrot, seduced by Columbine, impressed by Arlecchino, corrupted by Brighella, counselled by Doctor Cassander and enchanted by the Moon Goddess.
Composer: Arnold Schönberg
Poems: Albert Giraud
Director: Mark Duncan

Tuesday 19 August *Quadruple bill – 4 shows for £10*

CHOICE by Citric Acid Productions

ASTYANAX by Waterfield/Burke


THE BOY WHO SAID YES by Brecht/Weill
A mother cradles her baby and talks to the ghost of her dead husband. Why did he go back to war? Why didn’t he stay? What does the future hold for her fatherless child? A man stands accused of not following a strict political code. Should he flee the country or lie low? What of his wife? A boy makes a decision. Does he save his mother, endanger a religious pilgrimage or die? A triple bill of music, film and drama.
Musical Director: Timothy Burke
Director: Alex Sutton

Wednesday 20th August *Triple Bill – 3 shows for £10*

A woman brings a man back to her flat after a night at a bar. Or she’s watching an old romantic movie while chatting on the phone to her best friend, remembering how she got those bruises. Or she’s sitting in her flat with nothing to do and no one to talk to. But we’re watching. And as her desperation grows she’ll do anything for attention.
Composer: Michael Oliva
Words: Michael Oliva and Deepak Kalha

Euripedes tragedy premiered posthumously at the Dionysia in 403 BC, where it won first prize. Alexis Pope’s composition and libretto breathes new life into this classic about the conflict between the animalistic, chaotic and mystical Dionysus and the stubborn prude Pentheus.
Composer/Librettist/Musical & Artistic Director: Alexis Pope
Soprano: Tatjana Kiliani
Tenor: Emmanuel Fort
Bass: Andrew Young
First Bacchae: Sibylla Meienberg

STABAT MATER by Eclectic Opera
Adapted by Buffy Sharpe, Pergolesi’s STABAT MATER has been brought into the 21st century by the addition of a modern-day Mary who narrates in English and explores the universal themes of grief, mother-love and martyrdom.
Director: Poppy Burton-Morgan
Soprano: Anna Gregory
Counter-Tenor: Peter Shipman
Actress: Sarah Paul

Friday 22 August
Saturday 23 August

The planet Sector 9 has lost orbit due to deforestation, global warming and stupidity and is heading for earth. Roger & Out, the planet’s ambassadors, employ a young earthling wizkid to avert the impending collision. They give him one hour of Perfect Understanding to save the human race…
HOLORAY HOLIDAY – A singing, dancing, sci-fi thriller extravaganza. What more do you want?
Book and Lyrics: Rebecca and Sharon Nassauer
Composer: Sharon Nassauer
Director: Michael Alvarez
Musical Director: Candida Caldicot


Download the Grimeborn Programme