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This week, the English National Opera (ENO) presented the UK premiere of The Dead City at the Coliseum in London, a bold and innovative reimagining of George Crumb’s acclaimed 1970s chamber opera. Directed by Annilese Miskimmon, the production was a collaboration between the ENO, Manchester Collective and Re:sound – Voices of our Cities.
The Dead City tells the story of a community in crisis, the result of a devastating natural disaster. In Miskimmon’s staging, the city is represented by a single stage, surrounded by a chorus of mourners and survivors. The piece was brought to life by a stellar cast of singers, including baritone David Soar and soprano Fleur Barron, accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra.
The production also featured the music of contemporary American composer George Crumb, performed by the Manchester Collective. The ensemble presented a selection of works from Crumb’s Black Angels, including the iconic “Night of the Electric Insects”. The musicians of the Collective were joined by the Re:sound – Voices of our Cities choir, who provided a moving backdrop to the production.
The week also saw the launch of the Streetwise Opera project at Kings Place. The initiative, a partnership between Streetwise Opera and the BBC Concert Orchestra, aims to bring the power of music to people affected by homelessness. The project will feature a series of concerts across the UK, as well as a full-length opera, which will be premiered at the Barbican in 2021.
All in all, this week was filled with powerful and thought-provoking musical performances. From the deeply moving The Dead City to the uplifting Streetwise Opera project, classical music continues to provide an emotive and inspirational experience.