With the upcoming production of Constella OperaBallet‘s award-winning production Sideshows – which is showing at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells – I managed to get a few words from the composer and conductor behind the work.
Where did the inspiration behind Sideshows come from?
In the Victorian circus you would have the big top with all the big dramatic displays including flamboyant acrobatics, exotic animals and clumsy clowns. But in the shadow of the big top, would be the sideshows acts. They were much less glamorous and more freakish and bizarre. In fact there are so many characters, so rich in weirdness, that if feels like you could create a number of opera-ballets about the sideshows! We just picked a handful of characters to form a sideshows cabaret-esque show which is as equally unhinged as the characters themselves.
It is not often that we see shows combining dance and opera, why do you think that is?
There are various music genres collaborating and working together here (such as jazz and classical music), why do you think there isn’t enough daring pieces like Sideshows where we see this type of musical collaboration?
Contemporary classical music can be elitist and inward looking, and there is certainly plenty of stigma out there proclaiming the very same. I am very much committed to ensuring classical music remains a vital and vibrant part of the 21st century musical landscape. I’m always looking for ways to open-up contemporary music, which usually manifests itself in imaginative, daring and dramatic approaches to music-making. In this particular instance, its all about the fusion glued together with comedy!
What is it like to work with a talented team including Ella Marchment, Martin Kratz and Jaered Glavin?
Do you foresee more crossover pieces being produced and created in the future?
If you could choose only one, what would your favourite part or scene in Sideshows be?
Do you have any new projects coming up next for 2018?
Our biggest and most exciting project next year, so far, is music and dance performed to my original composition, in tribute to sculptor Barbara Hepworth, within a garden selected for the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show. We also have two further major productions in view alongside a series of smaller performance presentations.
Sideshows has been awarded the Lord Mayor’s Composition Prize and the Philip Bates Prize. It has been performed over 60 times across the UK and US, including Constella’s own production which was broadcasted twice on BBC Radio 3.
Composer and conductor Leo Geyer has been awarded various awards for composition including the RNCM Gold Medal Award, PRS / ESO Composition Competition and the Philip Bates Prize.
Composer/Conductor Leo Geyer
Librettist Martin Kratz
Director Ella Marchment
Choreographer Jaered Glavin
Click here to purchase tickets > Lillian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
Sat 25 Nov 7.45pm, Sun 26 Nov 2pm & 7.45pm
Tickets are selling fast!