Tête à Tête Opera Festival: the best bits
The opera festival is back for another year, with 30 new and off-the-wall works. For starters, here are our top twelve shows of the series
If you think operas are too long, too expensive or simply too operatic, get down to Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios, where the Tête à Tête Opera Festival (Thursday August 1– Sunday August 18) is presenting its seventh summer season. There are over 30 new, short, eccentric and entrancing shows to choose from, but here are our favourites this year.
Must-see shows at Tête à Tête 2013
Aug 1 and 2, 7-7.30pm
Bill Bankes-Jones directs a puppet opera, with music and words by Ergo Phizmiz.
And the Crowd (wept)
Aug 1 and 2, 7.55-8.55pm
Erick Flores’s meditation on the emptiness of the cult of celebrity, based on the life and death (in 2009) of reality TV star Jade Goody.
The End of Civilisation as We Know It
Aug 1 and 2, 9.15-10pm
Mezzo-soprano Lore Lixenberg stars in this comedy about an opera singer in Venice as the world is about to end.
La Belle de La Bête
Aug 1 and 2, 9.20-10pm
Sonia, a lively Barbadian, falls in love with English aristocrat Edward, but they are haunted by a history of slavery. With music by Pete Wyer.
Aug 3, 7.55-9.25pm; Aug 4, 5.55-7.25pm
Michael Betteridge’s restaurant-based musical spotlights your fellow diners and involves a three-course meal.
Mme Butterfly: The One Man Opera
Aug 3, 8.50-10pm and Aug 4, 4.50-6pm
Ignacio Jarquin stars in Michael Finnissy’s imagined sequel, which begins 30 years after the end of Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly’.
Aug 8 and 9, 7-8pm
Arnie Gieshoff’s opera, inspired by Petronius’s racy masterpiece ‘The Satyricon’.
Aug 8 and 9, 8.15-8.55pm
Walk to a mystery venue for John and Zinnie Harris’s story of a dysfunctional couple who discover a strange plant in the floor of their kitchen.
Aug 8 and 9, 9-10pm.
Darren Bloom’s opera about a young girl in 19th century colonial Africa, transformed into a social pariah.
The Secretary Turned CEO
Aug 10, 6.55pm-7.45pm and Aug 11, 2.55-3.45pm
Danyal Dhondy and Becca Marriott transpose Pergolesi’s comic intermezzo of 1733 to a modern-day workplace.
Aug 15 and 16, 8.50-10.05pm
The great and good of St Petersburg University host a hungry beast at a party in Llywelyn ap Myrddin’s Dostoyevsky-based satire.
Maria de Buenos Aires
Aug 17, 6.55-8.25pm, and Aug 18, 3.25-4.55pm
The world’s only tango opera, composed by Astor Piazzolla, with words by poet Horacio Ferrer.