Thursday, August 27, 2009

Post-Grimeborn Musings

Aurelie members convened in the capital this Monday for a performance of their football drone opera 'An Unorthodox 1-2'. Sharing the bill with composer Jenni Roditi, the piece was selected for the gala night of the Arcola Theatre's annual festival of alternative opera, Grimeborn.

Regular members Glenn Boulter, Dave Dhonau and Euan Rodger were joined by Barrow-based actor Damian Rose and artist/musician John Hall who was responsible for commissioning the piece as part of a residency at Barrow AFC in 2008. Endgame's Jim Tetlow was also on hand to document the performance.

The show played to a sold-out audience (including Swiss Aurelie fan Aurélie Emery and long-time anti-guitar campaigner Leon Cole) and featured some dextrous live looping from Damian accompanied by cello, crowd samples and electronics. The piece was warmly received, with the only dissenting voice coming from the Independent's hilariously ill-informed theatre critic Michael Coveney:

'Sounds of the terraces have twice been excitingly evoked by Andrew Lloyd Webber in Evita and The Beautiful Game, but Boulter and his gloomy half-hour serial score concentrates on the anomie of an abandoned pitch, wind rustling in the grass, a reiterated litany of unknown players, a solitary fan. We see all that on film while Damian Rose sits hunched over his paper in Barrow's blue-and-white strip and four musicians mix cello and percussion scratching with taped fragments.'

As Euan put it: "If we'd only had a glossy programme and someone ex-eastenders-now-secondary-character-in-the-Bill as the lead. Or perhaps we should try a bio-opera of Madonna in bronze age Britain?"

Luckily the North West Evening Mail were on hand to big us up:
(Click here to read)

Watch this space for news of further performances at the Royal Opera House 2 in November!

Aurelie woud like to thank to Alex Sutton and the Arcola for all their hard work in organising this event. Special thanks go to Nick O'Donnell Smith for his pre-show demonstration of the iPod trombone.

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