This innovative new music theatre project is the culmination of 2 years of collaboration, exploration, experiments and research. Following separate workshop performances of the 2 halves of Hera& 39;s List the new music promotors Sounds of the Engine House were impressed enough to want to programme the complete work in their concert series at International Anthony Burgess Foundation. This event will bring together a highly polished and engaging complete and newly staged work, celebrating the fantastic musicians and singers I have encountered through this process and the creative and vibrant development of music theatre in Britain. We want to bring to life this exciting and relevant story of a fight for independence, with it& 39;s Greek Goddess interventions and zany twists.
Hera’s List is a 30 minute piece of music theatre in two Acts for narrator, 7 singers, and 7 instrumentalists. The music and drama are succinct and maintain a dry sense of humour whilst dealing with ‘big’ issues such as loneliness, control, love and independence. Goddess Hera is bored and seizes the opportunity to meddle with the dejected mortal, Ashdon. She writes a list of Goddesses to entice and mesmerise him, and sends them down to earth one by one resulting in some interesting consequences!
My idea to explore how Goddesses might respond to a more contemporary setting and interact with each other and mortals was inspired by a poem by Edwin Morgan, An Alphabet of Goddesses (http://tinyurl.com/3h3elsl). After much research into Greek and Roman mythology my freshly fleshed out Goddesses are then dipped in some themes from the fairytale Cinderella to help further explore the three Goddess sisters - Hera, Demeter and Hestia (Goddess of the Hearth!) and the lonely mortal, Ashdon. The new story and libretto were written by myself and so compliment my dramatic, compact, often tuneful music well. Intricate and rhythmically compelling, the music will subtly draw you into the mysterious and diverse worlds of our characters. The conductor of Hera’s List, James Whittle, following our collaboration at York Spring Festival, describes the music: “at turns mischievous, touching, disturbing, and tells a compellingly pertinent story of love, jealousy and control.”
To put on the highest quality performance, pay the hand-picked musicians and enlist the skills of the wonderful director and conductor all ready to take on this project, we need your help. By supporting this project you will benefit the emerging talent of Manchester, help establish music theatre as a valid and engaging art form, ensure that high quality contemporary work is available to audiences outside of London and ensure that British artists are given the financial support they deserve - keeping music growing and (a)live. And enjoy a good night out!
We want to raise at least £3000 to pay the musicians and creative team to ensure that the performance is of a professional standard. Any additional funds will go towards Ignite’s development as a company which commissions and performs new works of music theatre both in Manchester and across the UK.
My goal over the next 2 years is to set up the company, Ignite Music Theatre, which will regularly perform contemporary music theatre in the UK and beyond. We will create fulfilling and financially viable work for young musicians and promote the exciting music of living composers. The events will be engaging, relevant to a wider audience and innovative in their approaches. The current project, Hera& 39;s List @ Sounds of the Engine House, is a pilot of this set up whereby a team is enlisted from a pool of interested musicians and collaborators for a specific event.