HOTSPUR

Music by Gillian Whitehead

Libretto by Fleur Adcock

 

PIERROT LUNAIRE

Music by Arnold Schoenberg

Libretto by Albert Giraud

by arrangement with Universal Edition A.G. Vienna

 

29th August and 1st September 2019

Grimeborn Festival at the Arcola Theatre

Pierrot is the wandering, painted-face clown seeking poetic inspiration in a prism of moonlight and yearning for the beautiful Colombine. Expressionistic and darkly comic with hints of cabaret, Schoenberg’s 1912 iconic melodrama for voice and five instrumentalists is one of the most influential musical works of the twentieth century. In this performance, it follows a new staging of the dramatic Hotspur, the opera that marked the beginning of a prolific collaboration between revered NZ composer Gillian Whitehead and librettist Fleur Adcock.

 

In contrast to Pierrot’s timeless abstraction, Hotspur tells the tale of the 14th century Northumbrian hero, Henry “Hotspur” Percy, through the eyes of his recently widowed wife. Elizabeth Mortimer, labelled “a most dangerous widow".For Hotspur / Pierrot Lunaire, Roughton-Arnold shares the stage with Signdance Collective International artists Isolte Avila and David Bower, and also incorporates imaginative live audio description from leading practitioners Rationale Method, pre-concert touch tours and braille translations for the audience. Sara Brodie, one of New Zealand’s leading directors and choreographers, joins forces with London-based Australian conductor, Scott Wilson, to create this ground-breaking new production.

Director - SARA BRODIE

Music Director - SCOTT WILSON

Repetiteur - JAMES KREILING

Co-choreographers - SARA BRODIE & DAVID BOWER

Soprano - JOANNE ROUGHTON-ARNOLD

Dancers - ISOLTE AVILA & DAVID BOWER

Flute / Piccolo - PASHA MANSUROV

Clarinet - SARAH THURLOW

Clarinet /Bass Clarinet - ANDREW HARPER

Violin / Viola - LUCIA D'AVANZO-LEWIS

Cello - ANNE CHAUVEAU

Percussion - CALIE HOUGH

Piano - CLIODNA SHANAHAN

Stage Manager - FREYA JEFFERIES

Banner Artwork - GRETCHEN ALBRECHT

Audio Description - MO PICKERING-SYMES

Surtitle Operator - GREGORY EMFIETZIS

Braille Transcription - ROGER FIRMAN

Producer - JOANNE ROUGHTON-ARNOLD

Assistant Producer - HEATHER ALLEN

"Dancers Isolte Avila and David Bower added beauty and emotional resonance to Hotspur and Pierrot Lunaire respectively, in minimalist, intense settings directed and designed by Sara Brodie... formidAbility has already unearthed something of great promise for opera’s future. It has also created new problems of stagecraft to solve. But musical and visual quality are already there, along with a remarkable ensemble feel. Exciting."

Charlotte Valori, MY THEATRE MATES

 

"And that is at the heart of why these two, seemingly so different pieces, work so well together: both challenge what the forms of opera and dance can do together, and show that Grimeborn is one of the most exciting theatre festivals of the summer."

Scott Matthewman, THE REVIEWS HUB

 

"But magic there often was in Roughton-Arnold’s vocalising, ranging from the most delicate sliding between pitches and most hushed of consonants – jewels of musical noise in themselves – to grim violence."

Edward Bhesania, THE STAGE

In Collaboration with

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We gratefully acknowledge support from

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The Webb Family Charitable Trust

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