The week in classical: The Dead City; Black Angels; Re:sound – review

This week saw a slew of exciting classical music performances around the UK, with English National Opera’s (ENO) production of The Dead City at London’s Coliseum and the world premiere of Black Angels by Manchester Collective at Kings Place.

The Dead City, a contemporary opera by composer Julian Phillips and librettist Lavinia Greenlaw, was first staged at ENO in March. Following its success, the opera was revived for a one-off performance at the Coliseum on Wednesday 31st April. The production featured ENO’s chorus and orchestra, and was conducted by ENO Music Director Annilese Miskimmon. The story follows the lives of four characters in a dystopian future, exploring themes of faith and morality. The performance was met with critical acclaim, with The Guardian’s five-star review praising its “riveting intensity”.

On Thursday 1st May, Kings Place in London hosted the world premiere of Black Angels, a new work by Manchester Collective. The piece was written by composer George Crumb and features a live string ensemble, as well as spoken word from poet Hussain Manawer. The performance was described by The Guardian as “a hauntingly beautiful experience that left the audience moved and inspired”.

Also this week, Re:Sound – Voices of Our Cities, a project by Streetwise Opera, was broadcast with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The performance featured the music of leading contemporary composers, and was inspired by the stories of people living in cities across the UK. The music was accompanied by visuals from BAFTA award-winning animator Nina Gantz. The show was praised for its “uplifting and powerful” message.

This week was a showcase of remarkable classical performances, with each piece offering something unique and captivating. Whether it’s the dystopian future of The Dead City, the poignant reflections of Black Angels, or the inspiring stories of Re:Sound – Voices of Our Cities, audiences have been treated to a week of remarkable classical music.