King Arthur with The Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Richard Egarr
Purcell King Arthur, a semi-opera re-imaginated in the context of Brexit. I liked the idea from the beginning. Because one of the goals of theatre and art should be make people think.
The new drama imaginated by Daisy Evans was composed of a series of scenes combined with texts by Ali Smith, Robinson Jeffers, Percy Bysshe, William Blake, Rose Macauley, T S Eliot, Shakespeare, Wislawa Szymborska, Bukowski and Arthur J Kramer. It was a 3-layer thing, with the scenes being explicit action about the Brexit, the texts inserted as pre/post thoughts about that action and the music at the figurative level. The dramatic result was more thoughtful than moving but very interesting.
The action was performed by the choir and soloists (and sometimes by Egarr himself) and texts were mostly read by Ray Fearon. I remarked the word read because Fearon used a sheet of paper for reading most of the texts. He was good, but acting could have benefited from reciting them from memory.
The music (and King Arthur is full of beautiful musics) was perfectly performed by the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Richard Egarr (from the harpsichord, standing and moving towards the musicians). Fast tempi and lively dynamics made a good contrast with the sometimes slow action.