Program notes for
Conductor: Elgar Howarth|
Director/Designer: Tom Cairns
Co-director/choreographer: Aletta Collins
Lighting Designer: Wofgang Göbbel
KONG: Philip Langridge
Sung in English
The performance lasts approximately two
The world of shadows is presided over by Anubis, the jackal-headed boatman who brings the souls of the dead from the world of the living. The head of Orpheus is here, his lost Eurydice also, Vermeer the painter, and the constantly bickering trio of Inanna - a former beauty queen - her husband Mr. Dollarama and her guru Swami Zum Zum. Among these unlikely characters is an idea called Kong, soon to fall in love with Pearl, the girl in Vermeer's famous painting. Will they ever consummate their love? No ordinary boy-girl romance, The Second Mrs Kong, with its poignant blend of humour, heartbreak and passion, is an operatic landmark not to be missed.|
Harrison Birtwistle is one of the world's foremost composers: individual, and, even today, controversial. His operas - many monumental in scale - range from the unforgettable The Mask of Orpheus to Gawain, recently revived at the Royal Opera House to huge acclaim. For this new work, Birtwistle has collaborated with Russell Hoban, author of the novels Turtle Diary, Riddley Walker and The Medusa Frequency, as well as many children's books.
An impressive cast includes Philip Langridge, Helen Field and Michael Chance. The production is directed and designed by Tom Cairns in collaboration with the choreographer Aletta Collins, and conducted by Elgar Howarth.
Pearl, Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring: soprano
Anubis,a jackal-headed boatman &
Death of Kong, a wrong assumption: bass baritone
Vermeer, left behind by Pearl: baritone
Mirror/Mirror Echo, the voice of reflection: lyric soprano
Inanna (Mrs Dollarama), dead former beauty queen: mezzo soprano
Mr Dollarama dead film producer: baritone
Swami Zumzum, Inanna's dead spiritual advisor: light tenor
Orpheus, for ever singing his loss: countertenor
Madame Lena, the customary sphinx: contralto
Four Models, &
Doubt/Fear/Despair/Terror, temptations: as required low mezzo soprano, mezzo soprano, soprano, high soprano
Eurydice, for ever lost to Orpheus: lyric soprano
The Dead, populating the world of shadows: chorus
Monstrous Messenger/Joe Shady: bass
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