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Stage And Dance News

Peters Composers in the Theatre
The Rambert Dance Company will begin touring this month with their new work Seven for a secret, never to be told. An exploration of the world through a child’s eyes, the score has been adapted by Stephen McNeff from Maurice Ravel’s sumptuous opera L’enfant et les sortilèges. The tour opens on 21 September 2011 at The Lowry in Salford, and continues through the United Kingdom until early December, visiting Bath, Glasgow, Norwich, London, Bradford and Plymouth.

Dream Hunter, a new opera by Nicola LeFanu with a libretto by the poet John Fuller, will receive its world premiere on 25 October 2011 at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, given by Ensemble Lontano under their musical director Odaline de la Martinez. Set in nineteenth-century Corsica, the work concerns the enigmatic mazzere, women gifted with the ability to foretell death, and the collision they bring about between the worlds of dreams and reality. The work will then travel to Swansea on the 27th, Cardiff on the 29th, and London in early February 2012.

Errollyn Wallen’s latest opera is a collaboration with the playwright and critic Bonnie Greer. Yes! is based on Greer’s experiences leading up to her appearance on an episode of the British panel show Question Time where she sat next to the leader of a radical, far-right political party, something which she later described as ‘probably the weirdest and most creepy experience of my life’. Rather than focusing on the television programme, the opera paints a picture of Britain at that time and the furore surrounding the broadcast. An ensemble of six musicians will accompany a cast of eight singers, and Bonnie herself, to play out the emotional and political turmoil of a wide range of individual British citizens, each with their own personal and cultural perspective. The opera debuts on 22 November 2011 at the Linbury Theatre Studio, Covent Garden.

Heritage Opera has completed a very well-received premiere tour of Jonathan Dove's new opera, Mansfield Park, based on the novel by Jane Austen with a libretto by Alasdair Middleton. The opera in two acts, scored for ten soloists and piano, four hands, tells the story of Fanny Price as she negotiates the moral perils of early nineteenth century high society.

Following successful performances at Nashville and Florentine Opera, a new CD of Robert Aldridge's Elmer Gantry has been released by Naxos. Based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis, the New York Times has described the work as kinetic, vividly scored and steeped in American vernacular idiom; the storytelling is urgent.

Julian Philips's Followers, a new opera in three parts with a libretto by Simon Christmas, was premiered at Glyndebourne Opera in August. The work is a new site-specific promenade opera based on the Orpheus myth. The opera followers three characters, Eurydice, Orpheus and Hades through three musical periods and three spaces at Glyndebourne as the piece explores how one moves on without looking back in life, in love or in opera.

Picture courtesy of Rambert Dance Company © Eric Richmond

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