Like a kid in a sweet shop (or a bull in a china shop?), I’m feeling the same leg-wiggling excitement of squeezing and weighing up presents before opening them on Christmas day: yes, I have the huge privilege of receiving vocal score first drafts for two of the three new operas we will be creating for Formations 2016. But what is inside?
A theatre director looks at an opera and asks how can this text tell us something about ourselves? Musicians look at it and ask what does the composer want?
In this article, Ella Marchment – the founder and artistic director of Helios Collective – talks about why she started the company and where it is heading in the future.
Hathaway – Eight Arias For A Bardic Life was a co-production between Helios Collective, Buxton Festival, and Copenhagen Opera Festival.
With every seat occupied thirty minutes before the performance started, it was standing room only for many people attending the Helios Collective and Bury Court Opera co-production held at the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, on Friday, 24 June 2016.
Helios Collective’s Formations Masterclasses took place at the Arts Theatre in Leicester Square from 6–13 November 2015, and they featured Kasper Holten (director of opera, Royal Opera House), Robert Saxton (composer), Stephen Unwin, (director), Stephen Barlow (artistic director, Buxton Festival), Bettina Bartz (dramaturg), and David Parry (conductor).
Following the sell-out successes of Toi Toi 1 & 2, Helios Collective returned to the CLF Arts Cafe in Peckham to bring together music from England, America, Jamaica, Finland, Portugal, and Brazil.
PLARIA (noun) is a portmanteau word that blends the words ‘play’ and ‘aria’. It is used to describe operatic works that have been written or adapted for staging as spoken/traditional plays with selected musical moments. As such, plarias might be best understood as being hybrid operatic musicals, performed by actors and singers, accompanied by live musicians or pre-recorded music.
Helios Collective and Constella OperaBallet came together to form a travelling troupe of modern-day bohemians, presenting an evening fusing opera, ballet, and theatre.
Staged in a warehouse night club in Peckham, South London, Toi Toi 2015 (1 & 2) presented two evenings of continuous music entertainment that demonstrated the versatility and relevance of opera to contemporary audiences, as well as highlighting links between popular and operatic music.