Thursday, April 12, 2012

Classical music with added theatre


My question Does classical music need more theatre? attracted a range of responses. Those who think that classical music needs more theatre will be heartened by a new project that premiered at the Perth Festival in Australia in February before coming to the UK in June. How Like An Angel is a collaboration between Baroque vocal ensemble I Fagiolini and Australian circus troupe Circa that combines acrobatics and Renaissance music in a performance created specifically for sacred spaces. The header photo is from the Perth premiere and there is a video here. Norwich and Ely Cathedrals are the venues for the UK performances - Perth Festival artistic director Jonathan Holloway previously held the same position at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, hence the co-commission. I am sure the purists will have something to say, but if Peter Sellars can "ritualize" Bach, why can't Circa "acrobatize" Tallis? Early music legend Noah Greenberg used a sword swallower in his iconic Play of Daniel, so isn't Renaissance polyphony without acrobats just a silly convention? Now read how classical music ran away to join the circus.

* How Like An Angel is being presented in the UK as part of the London 2012 Festival, so please be aware of who is sponsoring it.

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