GRIMEBORN: The Viagron / Kettlehead

Music, Classical and opera
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Following previews at the Tête à Tête opera festival Size Zero Opera Company presents the world premieres of two works of music theatre in a double bill titled Playing With Fire, directed by matthew Monaghan and conducted by Jonathan Mann.

The double bill opens with The Viagron by German composer Arne Gieshoff and librettist Frank Allison, based on the classical Roman text The Satyricon by Petronius. Focusing on the sexual misadventures of the impotent central character, Encolpius.

The bill is completed by Kettlehead by American composer Darren Bloom and librettist Neil Georgeson. Set in colonial Africa at the end of the 19th Century, the opera explores a twisted tale of voodoo and revenge focused on the tragic transformation of a promising young girl into a mutilated social pariah.


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(Response to Kevin)...and audiences need to not be so closed minded! If you wanted to go and watch Puccini or Verdi you should have just gone to one of the opera houses (like everyone else whose ears are stuck in the 19th Century.) Interesting that you say "sit through" and not "listen to" (for clearly you were not listening at all.) Try using your ears next time you go to a concert-it's rather a marvelous way to get into the music you're watching! Yours is a poorly written review that has all the usual hallmarks of a poorly written review. The first is absolutely not one positive comment whatsoever (not even to praise the singers or players for their stunning virtuosic and flexible execution of the piece) -no piece or performance is completely worthless and to not even find one positive thing to say is frankly worrying-perhaps you should stick to listening to recordings on classic fm and not go to live performances at all. Secondly no comment about the actual music-you haven't told us what to expect only told us you don't like it which is meaningless. Last but not least you simply wrote the piece of as one of the worst things you've ever seen, which by the way will have the complete opposite effect to the one you wanted to create by writing it in the first place.

I went to see Viagron last week, a contemporary work performed by the Tete a Tete company. I have to say that this was one of the worst operas that I have had the misfortune to sit through. Clearly not written for singers and exercising some composer angst, this had nothing to offer musically, artistically or visually, save from two singers having to bare themselves unnecessarily. When will composers stop writing such drivel that is more about them trying to be clever, rather than trying to entertain the audience with a workable, enjoyable piece of writing. I felt sorry for the singers especially but also for the orchestra, who were forced into panting, whispering and moaning, along with trying to salvage a score that could have been made up on the spot and no-one would have been any the wiser. Composers need to realise that a performance is for the audience, not just for themselves. Dreadful!