Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Five:15 Returns - Scottish Opera & Five 15 min Operas

Following the overwhelming success of Five:15 in 2008, Scottish Opera returns with a brand new set of five, specially commissioned, fifteen-minute operas from Scottish writers and composers.

"The whole project was ingenious"
The Herald, March 2008

"I came away from Five:15 thrilled, stimulated and, yes, moved"
Financial Times, March 2008

The first performances happened this last weekend in Glasgow with strong reviews. Sarah Urwin Jones of TimesOnline wrote:

Two short-story adaptations opened the night, with varying success. Where the librettist and lecturer Amy Parker's take on Herman Melville's The Lightning Rod Man, an all-American allegory, is florid and a little dated, David Fennessy and Nicholas Bone's clean adaptation of Peter Carey's Happy Story fades alluringly in and out of introspection, despite the ultimately daft decision to work in five scene changes in 15 minutes.

...the most successful offering of the night, Remembrance Day, written by the crime writer Louise Welsh, author of The Cutting Room. She takes up the Ian Rankin operatic crime spree ticket with a decidedly nasty, rather uneven libretto about two geriatric killers rekindling love's youthful fire over the body of their vacuous young cleaner. Approached with darkly mischievous glee by the composer Stuart McRae, there are some delightful moments of musical play, as McRae interleaves the cleaner's tuneless humming or the strains of an old LP over the relentless orchestral score.

The Lightning Rod Man
Music: Dr Martin Dixon Words: Amy Parker
Based on the original story by Herman Melville
Director: Frederic Wake-Walker
A door-to-door lightning rod salesman, preying on peopleís fears, meets a sceptical customer who is having none of his hocus-pocus.

Death of a Scientist
Music: John Harris Words: Zinnie Harris
Director: Michael McCarthy
A man in crisis stands on the edge, not knowing which way to jump. Either way his life as he knows it is over, but should he stay around to face the consequences?

White
Music: Gareth Williams Words: Margaret McCartney
Director: Frederic Wake-Walker
An outsider finds herself drawn into a world of sadness but is unable to ease the suffering around her by sharing her own experiences. Can a stranger help during the most difficult times or should your grief remain your own?

Remembrance Day
Music: Stuart MacRae Words: Louise Welsh
Director: Michael McCarthy
A young girl cleaning her elderly neighbourís house puts on an old LP, but the music rekindles memories from the old coupleís past, unleashing horrific consequences.

Happy Story
Music: David Fennessy Adaptation: David Fennessy & Nicholas Bone
Based on the original short story by Peter Carey
Director: Nicholas Bone
A man and a woman learn that to be happy, they must dream together. All he wants to do is fly - what should she do other than fly with him?

PERFORMANCE DIARY
(Shows at 3.30pm and 7.30pm)

The Hub, Edinburgh
Sat 7 March • Sun 8 March

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