Introduction to my work and 4.48 Psychosis by John Fallas

July 6, 2016

Here’s a copy of the introductory essay to my work that John Fallas very beautifully wrote as an introduction to 4.48 Psychosis.  It was commissioned by the Royal Opera for the 4.48 Psychosis programme booklet. A new kind of opera John Fallas Where…

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Shocking Opera: a new manifesto

April 2, 2011

New opera is too safe. Even Thomas Adès’ end-of-the-pier blowjob bored me. Ninety years earlier, I am sure that Strauss’ Salome shocked people more than Powder Her Face ever did – though admittedly the Adès’ probably has a greater sense of fun. But have you seen contemporary opera in Britain and been shocked, unnerved, outraged, or even just a little pissed off? Probably not; I haven’t. All the other contemporary arts have had anarchic movements and anti-establishment manifestos, from Futurism to Dadaism to the ‘Post Porn Modernist Manifesto’. But not opera. New opera still seems shackled to the corpse of the old; “dead, repetitive, predictable, pretty”, according to Robert Thicknesse in The Guardian. Most modern art rails against conservatism; is new opera its last bastion?

Different spaces, different faces?

April 2, 2011

Berghain is the best nightclub in the world. On a Sunday morning at 4am, in a disused power station on the east side of Berlin, you can queue for hours and, if you’re lucky enough to get in, it’s like nowhere else on earth. You can listen to world-class minimal techno, dance crazy, take drugs, get drunk, have sex in public and even, would you believe it, smoke a cigarette indoors. But on Monday night I came here to see countertenor Andreas Scholl sing Dowland, Purcell and Haydn, with interludes of recorded Shostakovich over the towering speakers. When I arrived I was struck dumb: 500 people, most of them in their twenties, queuing to get in. It felt like 4am on a Sunday morning