A fraudulent psychic, persecution in Mussolini’s Italy and a shepherd’s marriage to a semi-divine nymph are some of the subjects set to feature at this month’s festival of alternative opera Grimeborn, at the Arcola Theatre.
Ten productions, including new operas and small-scale re-workings of established favourites by Monteverdi, Massenet and Handel, are to be staged throughout the month in the Arcola’s two main studios.
Eye-catching operas include Women Box, a triple bill of musical theatre and opera about women’s boxing and the rise of the female conductor; a new translation of Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea; and The Medium, an invitation to a séance with dark voices, magic tricks and flying spirits.
Now in its eighth year, Grimeborn aims to turn the stuffiness of the English summer opera season on its head, with its name a playful reference to the Glyndebourne opera festival.
The Arcola’s Artistic Director, Mehmet Ergen, calls Grimeborn “a breeding ground for original voices and some of the stars of tomorrow”.
The festival prepares vocalists for future roles by giving them the chance to perform in a more intimate setting and aims to attract new audiences to opera by adopting a bold, risk taking approach and by selling tickets at affordable prices.
Grimeborn 2014 is at Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL until 7 September