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?
Poet Martin Kratz and I were commissioned to write a song for the 20×12 New Music Weekend at the Southbank Centre. We were looking for ideas and Martin stumbled across information about Victorian circuses and sideshows that used to take place on the Southbank. So we wrote the song about a Dancing Bear, and from that moment we got hooked into this bizarre sideshows world and over a number of years we created more and more sideshows acts, including the Bearded Lady, Fire-eater, Palm Reader, until we ended up with a 2-act opera-ballet!