During the month-long residency in the quarter of Musrara sounding situations developed a participatory mobile radio opera based on the voices of the neighbourhood. In a collective dialogue we draw a description of the present and futures to be heard in an acoustic portrait. The piece moves as a radiophonic opera through the city landscape transforming it into its stage. How to deal with a format full of past and tradition like the opera, when present is the moment we have, the time frame and power to make transformation happen? Theatre and performance are a strategy to imagine in a concrete way what we do not know and how (personal and collective) history could be staged. It is the fictive rehearsal and master training of transforming the uncertain present into a wished future world in which we want to construct our broader neighbourhood.
Composers website: http://sounding-situations.com/musraropera
Imagine getting in a car without knowing the destination. Sharing the car are singers, actors, and instrumentalists who draw you into a story. The car stops at an incredible site, where another chapter of the story commences – until another car pulls up, with different artists, depicting another chapter of the story.
And so on, and so on, in a 90-minute journey throughout the unsuspecting city.
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence have co-commissioned composer Jonathan Dove to write an opera scored for professional musicians with amateur singers (children and adults) and young pre-professional instrumentalists drawn from our local communities.
The idea for the co-commission was led by Sir Simon Rattle and Simon Halsey and the project is designed to celebrate the arts organisation’s relationship with its community. The piece is designed to work within the parameters of a concert hall, however each production will be very different in each country, with each co-commissioner producing its own production in its own language and with its own unique staging and vision.
For the opera, composer Jonathan Dove and his regular librettist Alasdair Middleton sought a universal topic which can be told by a large group of children, and which would not require elaborate scenery. They decided on the ancient Greek story which tells of the rescue from the Labyrinth, by Theseus, of young Athenians sent to Crete as a sacrifice to the Minotaur.
The piece is scored for three professional soloists and a professional actor, adult community chorus, youth chorus, children’s chorus, and an orchestra of professional players playing alongside young or pre-professional players.
Composed by Jonathan Dove
Musical direction Sir Simon Rattle
Stage direction Marie-Ève Signeyrole
Stage design Fabien Teigné
London Symphony Orchestra and Mediterranean Youth Orchestra
Production / Coproduction
Commissioned by the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the London Symphony Orchestra