Shirley J. Thompson’s Pioneering New Opera Set for Opening Night of Tête à Tête Fest
– Written and conducted by Thompson, celebrated composer
SACRED MOUNTAIN, Incidents in the Life of QUEEN NANNY of the MAROONS, is a hypnotic psychological narrative based on the life of Jamaica’s Boudicca, with original concept, libretto and music composed by the esteemed Shirley J. Thompson.
Opening on 21 July 2015, the first night of the Tête à Tête Opera Festival – the largest international contemporary opera festival – the groundbreaking opera is the first of its kind to be composed for a female lead in a heroic role. Turning the genre on its head, the conventional femme fatale is replaced by a compelling and gutsy heroine, with English Touring Opera soprano star Abigail Kelly as the solo singer throughout.
Constantly innovating, Thompson has recruited jazz sensation Cleveland Watkiss to orate, who has previously performed with artists and groups as diverse as Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and the London Chamber Orchestra. Rambert Dance Company luminary, Dane Hurst is directing and choreographing the show after taking home a string of dance awards, including Best Male Dancer at the National Dance Awards 2014. Critically acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson is on drums and percussion; while young and in demand rising star Mark Kavuma plays trumpet.
Shirley J. Thompson is the first woman in Europe within the last 40 years to have composed and conducted a symphony; which was performed and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A creative visionary, her work has featured in performances across the world, notably as part of the celebrated ballet score PUSH, which toured in over 30 countries. Named in the Evening Standard’s ‘Power List of Britain’s Top 100 Most Influential Black People’ for the past five consecutive years, Thompson continues to push boundaries with this highly-anticipated upcoming opera production.
The Tête à Tête Opera Festival runs from 21 July 2015 to 10 August at The Place, in the heart of Euston, London.
Tickets available from: Kings Place: 0207 520 1490 http://www.tete-a-tete.org.uk/
Performance: SACRED MOUNTAIN, Incidents in the Life of QUEEN NANNY of the MAROONS
Music and Words By: Shirley J. Thompson
Dates: Tuesday 21st July & Wednesday 22nd July 2015
Place: The Place: Robin Howard Dance Theatre, 17 Duke’s Road, London, WC1H 9PY
Price: £7.50 online/ £9 phone or at the venue