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Sounding off about opera

Join the talk-in at 'Devoted and Disgruntled: How can we change opera for the better?' And look out for Tête à Tête festival offerings in the coming week

04 August, 2017 — By Sebastian Taylor

Claron McFadden performs as part of the Tête à Tête festival on Tuesday in Cubitt Square

Everyone who makes, loves and lives opera is being invited to attend a prolonged “talk-in” this weekend to address the question Devoted and Disgruntled: How can we change opera for the better? at the Tête à Tête festival of operas in King’s Cross venues.

The talk-in is at King’s Cross Primary School in the Plimsoll Building, starting at 10.30am on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend tickets £25 each.

“Whatever your big idea, knotty problem, hot issue or burning question, bring it to the weekend where you set the agenda and everyone gets heard,” says Bill Bankes-Jones, the festival’s artistic director.

“Mighty organi­sations, resilient tiny ones, singers, audience members, managers, superfans, instrumental­ists, chor­isters, casting directors, conductors, stage directors, technicians, production teams and, indeed, anyone who cares to turn up – you’re all welcome for these two days.”

The great talk-in is run by theatre director Phelim McDermott and the Improbable concern that promotes the nationwide conversation about the future of theatre.

Short operas being performed in the Tête à Tête festival next week include:

Tuesday, August 8:
• Claron & Friends: Cabaret-style performance led by fabulous soprano Claron McFadden. Produced by Muziektheatre Transparent. Cubitt Square, 6.30-7.10pm.

Wednesday, August 9:
• The Good Night Opera created for very young children and babies. What happens when the sun doesn’t want to go to bed? RADA Club Theatre, 10am, 11.30am. Also same times on Friday, August 11
• Three-part a cappella choir Juice Vocal Ensemble + Roshi’s Welsh-Iranian torch songs. Cubitt Square, 6.30pm.

Thursday, August 10:
• The Cry of the Double Bass – opera about powerful passions and broken dreams. RADA Studios Theatre, 7-7.50pm.
• Tell One, Forget One – “serio-comic” piece of physical theatre and miscommunication for voice, piano and electronics. RADA Club Theatre, 7-7.30pm.
The Monk and The Lotus – new opera adapted from Ming Dynasty classic. RADA Studios Theatre, 8.10-9pm.
• A Certain Sense of Order – portrait of American poet Anne Sexton. RADA Club Theatre, 8.15-905pm.
• The Art of Venus. Mythology meets sci-fact in a post-baroque opera. RADA Studios Theatre, 9.20-9.55pm.

Full details and tickets at
• Devoted And Disgruntled: How Can We Change Opera For The Better? August 5 and 6, King’s Cross Academy Primary School, 4 Wollstonecraft Street, N1C 4BT. Saturday 10.30am-5pm, Sunday 10.30am-6pm,


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