The Royal Opera House has announced its 2023 Engender Festival.
First up will be the UK premiere of “Woman at Point Zero” by Bushra El-Turk with a libretto by Stacy Hardy. Laila Solman directs the opera, which stars Dima Orsho and Carla Nahadi Babelegoto. Kanako Abe conducts.
“Woman at Point Zero” is a multimedia work tells a tale of abuse and emancipation that “blends Western and Middle Eastern traditions, and is performed on a unique mix of ancient folk instruments by musicians from all over the world.”
Performance Date: June 28 – 30, 2023
There will also be a brunch with lisa luxx as part of “Artivism and Opera.”
Performance Date: July 1, 2023
Next up is “History of the Present,” a new experimental feminist opera-film about class and conflict. It features Héloïse Werner. The work is composed by Annea Lockwood and features a libretto by Maria Fusco, who also directs alongside Margaret Salmon.
“The opera-film features archival recordings of women’s voices from my own family recordings, made when I was a child. I’m interested in how you learn accent through tone and range, how the environment seeps into you, how you try to assimilate. I was deeply honoured Annea agreed to compose new music for the work; her pioneering work in field-recordings has been an inspiration for a long time,” said Fusco in an official press statement. “We utilised other archival materials, which Héloïse, a trained opera singer, improvises with ‘emblematic’ Belfast military sounds: a helicopter, a Saracen, and a riot. We made the decision in the work not to include any visual archival material, but instead to focus on the sonic. When I was growing up, you would often hide when a riot was happening, not stand staring out at it. Your experience of violence is largely sonic: you’re a reluctant participant.”
Performance Date: July 2, 2023