Ground-breaking new opera company Theatre of Sound is launching in November 2021 with a radical retelling of one of opera’s great masterpieces, Bluebeard’s Castle by Béla Bartók, presented with arts organisation and performance venue Stone Nest.
Theatre of Sound founders and long-time collaborators Daisy Evans and Stephen Higgins have a shared passion and vision for presenting opera in new and exciting ways, fostering a free flow of artistic ideas across genres and artforms to create intimate, inclusive and innovative experiences of opera for people of all backgrounds.
Usually presented as a Gothic horror story centred around an abusive relationship, this new, fully staged presentation reimagines the piece as a love story between a long married couple coming to terms with living with dementia. Performances will take place at Stone Nest, which is based in a stunning former Welsh chapel in the heart of London’s West End, from 4-14 November.
Marking the start of an extended partnership that will explore opera as a powerful pathway for connection with each other and the world around us, Theatre of Sound will join forces with Live Music Now to facilitate a creative participation programme, Judith’s Castle. Created in collaboration with families living with dementia through a partnership with Rare Dementia Support, with dynamic young composer Electra Perivolaris, new work will be premiered on the set of the opera production at Stone Nest, featuring musicians from Live Music Now and the London Sinfonietta.
Further details including dementia-friendly performances and a series of talks and insights from specialists in the field of dementia care, will be announced at a later date.
Evans and Higgins, who have a long track record of successful collaboration on critically acclaimed productions with Silent Opera, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera and the Royal Opera House, comment:
Stephen Higgins: “This extraordinary masterpiece has been a favourite of mine since childhood, and to have the chance to work with such an amazing cast and creative team to bring it to life in this evocative and extraordinary setting is the fulfilment of a long-held dream. I am particularly excited to reframe the story as a love letter from a devoted husband – a radical reinterpretation which has made me listen to the piece with completely new ears.”
Daisy Evans: “Bluebeard’s Castle is one of my all-time favourite operas, and I always understood Bluebeard’s music was filled with intense love and devotion. I want to tell this tale not as a gothic nightmare, but a love story whilst also increasing awareness and understanding around the power of music for people living with dementia.”
Tickets are now on sale here priced from £35 with concessions also available including an offer of 10 tickets per show at £20 for under 25s.
For further information visit https://www.theatreofsound.org/