Oliver Zeffman presents his new project "Eight Songs From Isolation", "the first opera written for a socially distant world" .
“Crises have often been the catalyst for artists to develop not only new work, but also new ways of working. The current pandemic gripping the world has made impossible the two fundamental requirements of most art forms - the interaction of artists with each other, and between artists and audiences. Rather than trying to repurpose something written in another context, I felt it artistically imperative to commission something that is very much of and for our current situation that speaks to the shared experience we are all going through." - Oliver Zeffman.
Oliver commissioned eight leading composers, who chose eight texts about isolation to reflect on their experience of the past 6 month. Director Billy Boyd Cape combined the pieces into a filmed opera, that takes an audiance on a "visual journey through evolving representations of isolation".
"Eight Songs From Isolation" consists of: Thomas Adès: Gyökér by Miklós Radnóti, sung in Hungarian by Katalin Károlyi; Nico Muhly: New-Made Tongue by Thomas Traherne, sung in English by Iestyn Davies; Helen Grime: Prayer by Carol Ann Duffy, sung in English by Sarah Connolly; Huw Watkins: How by Philip Larkin, sung in English by Toby Spence; Du Yun: her own text, sung in Mandarin by Shenyang; Freya Waley-Cohen: Spell for Reality by Rebecca Tamás, sung in English by Julia Bullock; Ilya Demutsky: the words of Alexey Barishnikov as he held up a Russian bank at the height of lockdown, sung in Russian by Andrei Kymach; Julian Anderson: a letter he received during lockdown from composer Ahmed Essyad, sung in French by Sophie Bevan.
Oliver Zeffman conducts The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Orcherstra.
The video & audio recordings will be released on Apple Music on September 25th .