The key theme in this season’s Opera Forward Festival is (ir)responsibility. How far do our responsibilities extend, who is prepared to shoulder them, what kind of world will we face if we keep deferring them? And what could we achieve if we do decide to take responsibility?
Jocasta’s Line: Ancient tragedy in contemporary form
These two works – Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (1927) and Samy Moussa’s world premiere Antigone (2020) – are all about crime and punishment. This new production by the top British choreographer and director Wayne McGregor brings together the worlds of classical tragedy, modern dance and music from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
9-24 March 2024
The Four Note Opera
Dark comedy about singers who have no say
Inspired by Luigi Pirandello’s meta-theatre, composer Tom Johnson wrote a piece for a group of singers who have only four notes at their disposal (A, B, D and E) and couldn’t sing about anything other than the opera they are now performing in. Of course, such is an impossible situation: the opera ends in utter rigidity.
Fifty years ago, the Four Note Opera was a mocking reflection on opera norms. Is the criticism still relevant?
15-17 March 2024
A crisis of responsibility
In 2021, a Dutch court ruled that Shell was legally responsible for its contribution to climate change. In The Shell Trial, the various voices in the climate debate are heard and it becomes increasingly clear that we will not make any progress by endlessly pointing the finger at one another. The message of this topical opera is that the climate crisis is above all a crisis of responsibility.
16-21 March 2024