We’ve been speaking to the cast of The Opera Group’s Bow Down about their experiences of the production ahead of their performances in the Village Underground tomorrow. In the final instalment, Benjamin Mahns-Mardy tells us how different it has been to working on other projects.
Working on this piece has been an incredible experience. Not only due to the fact that Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s music is so different from anything I have worked on before, but also that the disciplines practiced by the ensemble (varying from being instrumentalists, actors, dancers and singers) allow for a really interesting interdisciplinary performance. If one then adds to this, the fact that each venue we are performing at is almost completely different, each venue adds another dynamic to the piece. For example, being at the Municipal Market in Brighton gave the piece, in my opinion a very industrial feel. However, at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, the venue being a clearing in a forest, with naked flames to light the performance space gave the piece a tribal, almost animalistic air. The feel of the piece will mostly likely change again at the Village Underground and at Latitude Festival. I also feel that the piece itself can alter the ‘mood’ of the venue for the audience due to its ritualistic nature.
Working with The Opera Group has also been fantastic. They have a well deserved reputation for commissioning and producing new Opera works. Now, although Bow Down is not an opera, it fits perfectly within the catalogue of works that this incredible company has performed. I very much hope to be able to work with The Opera Group in the future.
Wednesday 13 June, 6.30pm & 8.30pm
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