Amongst this year’s twelve productions, there are fringe-scale renditions of Verdi and Puccini masterpieces, a rarely performed epic from the Ottoman Empire’s first opera composer and a pair of double-bills that combine forgotten classics with newer work. With so much an offer, it’s easy to be overwhelmed, so we’ve selected a handful of highlights that will challenge your perceptions of opera.
The Clown of Clowns, running for five performances from Aug 4 to Aug 8, combines the rarefied arts of opera and ballet with the spectacular skills of the circus. It focuses around a fresh interpretation of modernist Arnold Schoeneberg’s melodramatic song cycle Pierrot Lunaire, sung by soprano Rachel Maby, with new work from Leo Geyer, composer and conductor of the Constella Orchestra.
LIVEARTSHOW’s first works stood at the centre of an award-winning season at The Yard, prompting The Guardian’s Honour Bayes to call them “an astonishing and oddly moving success”. Their new show Marsha: A Girl Who Does Bad Things, from Aug 11 to Aug 15, promises to show a trapped young girl experience the world for the first time. It looks to be an eccentric treat.
Verdi’s Falstaff, so recently staged at Covent Garden, here faces a new production from director Daisy Evans and the Fulham Opera, one of Britain’s premier independent companies. Rather than the early-twentieth century setting favoured by many modern productions, Evans will update this evergreen comdy to the present day, from Aug 18 to Aug 22. Other reinterpretations of classics include Puccini’s La boheme (4 – 8 Aug) Strauss’ Daphne (20 Aug) and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (25 – 29 Aug). This is a chance to see great works stripped back from the grandiose West End stage.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Medium, his chilling monodrama, will be sung by mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chin on 25 Aug to 29 Aug, accompanied by a new work from the Grammy-nominated Tarik O’Regan (Threshold of Night). An electro-acoustic piece, it explores the symbolism of the Virgin Mary, part-flesh and part-ideal.
|What||Grimeborn 2015, Arcola Theatre|
|Where||Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street , London, E8 3DL | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Highbury & Islington (underground)|
04 Aug 15 – 29 Aug 15, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Arcola Theatre website|