Theatre of Sound, a new opera company, has been created by conductor and musical director, Stephen Higgins and the writer and director Daisy Evans.
The two have collaborated in the past with many of the top opera companies in the UK and wanted to offer ‘new and exciting ways to present opera in a more accessible and modern way. Theatre of Sound will launch in November with a unique re-telling of Bartok’s classic Bluebeard’s Castle, in an English translation by Evans that turns the gothic horror about an abusive relationship into a love story between a married couple learning to live with dementia.
The production will be the first full theatrical opera presentation at the Stone Nest in London’s Soho. With the London Sinfonietta, soprano Susan Bullock, bass-baritone Gerald Finley, baritone Michael Mayes and soprano Gweneth Ann Rand will share the roles of Duke Bluebeard and Judith. Daisy Evans will also direct.
She said, ‘Bluebeard’s Castle is one of my all-time favourite operas, and I always understood Bluebeard’s music was filled with intense love and devotion. I want to tell this tale not as a gothic nightmare, but as a love story, while also increasing awareness and understanding around the power of music for people living with dementia.’
The company’s decision to launch by addressing the effects of dementia is no coincidence. Dementia-friendly performances and talks will feature among the 14 nights.
Theatre of Sound has also established a creative participation project in partnership with Live Music Now, Rare Dementia Support and composer Electra Perivolaris in parallel with the production. Named ‘Judith’s Castle’, it will feature a new work from collaboration between the London Sinfonietta, musicians from Live Music Now and members of families living with dementia. It will be premiered on the set of ‘Bluebeard’s Castle’ at Stone Nest.
The company’s mission statement says, ‘Theatre of Sound brings immersive storytelling through drama, music and electronics all in a singular experience.
‘Our mission is to break down boundaries between genres, utilising our unique style of storytelling to serve the purpose of our productions, overcoming traditions that separate art forms from audiences.
‘At Theatre of Sound, we value invention, equity and diversity, telling stories that are relevant, accessible and previously untold.
‘We believe that great art and innovative drama are not privileges of the elite, but a right for everyone.
’We create a 360 experience through sound, spoken word and design, placing you at the heart of a production.’