Opera Erratica will be bringing their daring new work Triptych to this year’s Summer Festival. The piece is being devised through a collaborative process which is being documented online so you can get a real insight into the minds of the composers and artists working on the project.
Triptych is a trilogy of three smaller pieces – a tragedy, a comedy, and a piece about nuns. For the opera lovers out there, this might sound familiar, as Opera Erratica have drawn on some very raw elements of Puccini’s much-loved Il Trittico for the structure of Triptych. Check out the clip below for a sneak preview of the comedy section with music by Thomas Smetryns.
See what the team had to say about their choice of instruments below, and how director Patrick Eakin Young’s DJ skills are feeding into the piece…
It’s something of a cliché in contemporary composition, when you’re writing for a single instrument, that you should try and use it to the full extent of its capabilities. This might mean making sure that the whole catalogue of extended techniques – plucking, tapping, scraping, detuning, etc. – make some kind of appearance at some point, and the piece becomes about a kind of an exploration of a particular instrument as noisemaking object (often with paradoxically conventional results).
We’re in a similar position this week, in that we have some very cool toys to play with: high-tech turntables with time-coded records linked to digital audio tracks. But the record players are also a key theatrical and narrative device, the vertex at which music, movement and narrative connect. So as with any instrument (or stage device), we want to make use of its full capabilities and make it work in surprising ways (drawing extensively on our director’s shady past as a New York DJ). But we also have to make all these decisions cohere within the logic of the narrative. This is a challenge, certainly, but I think it can also afford our decisions the kind of clarity of purpose that is sometimes missing from the more arbitrary uses of extended instrumental techniques in contemporary chamber music.
And if you’d like even more behind the scenes info, head of to Opera Erratica’s Triptych blog.
Monday 9 – Tuesday 10 June
6.30pm & 8.30pm
Wilton’s Music Hall