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Crazy for opera

Tête à Tête festival continues with a week of free new works at Lewis Cubitt Square

28 July, 2017 — By Sebastian Taylor

A Surprise Package of delights on Wednesday evening

This summer’s grand Tête à Tête opera festival moves to the Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, next week, featuring free operas and soloist performances.

First up on Tuesday evening (August 1) is Cubitt’s Muse from Impropera company, guaranteed to provide a farrago of musical mayhem. Opera singers and musicians improvise operas in response to suggestions from audience, not just the story-idea but the composer as well. You might, for instance, suggest the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the style of Monteverdi changing to Purcell, then Mozart, Puccini and Stravinsky as the piece evolves.

On Wednesday (August 2), it’s the Surprise Package company that’s been producing surprises and delights for the past 20 years.Expect laughter, joy, glorious music, brilliant work that comes with the hallmark of Tête à Tête’s theatricality.

For Thursday (August 3), it’s the turn of Opera Lab Europe based in Lisbon performing thrilling opera Hummus for seven unaccompanied voices by Lebanese composer Zad Moultaka. “I want to eat Hummus! I want to drink Hummus! I want to breathe Hummus!” declares Andreas. But as he stuffs himself with his favourite Middle-Eastern dish, memories of a massacre come back to haunt him.

Also performing the same evening is singer/songwriter/cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson. She’s previewing songs from her highly anticipated debut album due out this October.

Lewis Cubitt Square performances continue the week after next:

Tuesday, August 8:
• Cabaret-style opera Claron & Friends performed by Low Countries new opera company Muziektheater Transparant. 6.30pm.

Wednesday, August 9:
• Unusual a cappella Juice Vocal Ensemble meets Roshi singing Welsh-Iranian torch songs and electronica from Pars Radio. 6.30pm.
• Also being performed the same evening is new miniature music piece Belongings, inspired by items of luggage carried by railway passengers.

It may be beyond preposterous craziness. But that’s what Tête à Tête is all about – enjoy!

• Performances start at 6.30pm and they’re all free.
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