‘Tomorrow’s Wonder…A Window Into Our Lives’ was received by a large, enthusiastic audience at Stone Nest, the Welsh chapel turned theatre, in early November.
Devised as a collaboration between the award-winning composer Electra Perivolaris and Paul and Lesley Stretton-Stephens, the opera explores the role of music and memory through the experiences of the couple, who live with a rare form of dementia.
The commission took its inspiration from Theatre of Sound’s new imagining of Bartok’s masterpiece, ‘Bluebeard’s Castle’, and was supported by Rare Dementia Support, the London Sinfonietta and Live Music Now.
From left, Paul and Lesley Stretton-Stephens, Electra Perivolaris and Kevin Whately.
Photography by Ivan Gonzalez
The premiere performance was accompanied by several fascinating speakers who offered some context to the world of music and dementia practice, including Live Music Now alumnus Julian West, a leading expert in the field of dementia and music research; renowned actor and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Kevin Whately, who recited the 16th century English poet Sir Edward Dyer’s ‘My Mind To Me A Kingdom Is’ that was the inspiration for the main stage adaptation of Bluebeard’s Castle and, and Dr Francesco Aprile, a researcher in disease mechanisms at Imperial College, who gave a witty and informative talk on the biomolecular structure of dementia and the research and innovation in finding its cure.
The 20-minute performance was recorded for posterity and is available to watch online and below.
The piece was brought to life by an incredible cast and orchestra, consisting of Gweneth Ann Rand (soprano) Matthew Hargreaves (baritone), Paul Silverthorne (Viola) and Adrian Bradbury (Cello) and two Live Music Now musicians, Catherine Hare (Flute) Mary Reid (Harp.) All featured above.