dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Love triangle threatens chaos and catastrophe
Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta bring Gerald Barry's opera The Intelligence Park to Birmingham Repertory Theatre this November. The work, first staged in London in 1990, takes us to 1753 to a love triangle between a composer, his lead castrato and the composer's fiancée which threatens chaos and catastrophe.
With a libretto by Vincent Deane sung in English, the production is designed and directed by Nigel Lowery. Touring the UK, it plays Birmingham Rep's Main House on November 4.
Nigel says the opera is a blend of humour and pathos. "It's surreal because of its highly idiosyncratic and eccentric character - a kind of madness overshadows the drama," he says. "The extremity of some of the word setting is wry in its absurdity. However, we should also remember the opera has a deeply tragic vein running through it. It's interesting when the piece is understood less as an opera within an opera and more the materialisation of the composer's fantasy which forms another dimension beyond his immediate existence. The composer's art transcends the world around him and pushes him towards madness."
And Nigel hopes new audiences will enjoy the revival: "Any given spectator will experience an opera within their own individual references…and not just the words and music but the production too! I think theatre should be pedagogic and we should 'learn' something from it. However, in this case, I hope the audiences will also enjoy feeding off such an exhilarating and energetic composition."
Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta perform The Intelligence Park at Birmingham Rep on November 4, see birmingham-rep.co.uk for ticket information.