The live Organ component of ‘Venables plays Bach’

October 4, 2021

This post accompanies the programme booklet for Venables plays Bach, a 42-channel sound installation in l’Église de Saint Eustache, Paris, as part of the Festival d’Automne à Paris. The installation can be heard each day between 2.30–5.30pm, 7th to 16th…

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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?