Grimeborn at the Arcola: Gershwin, sorcery and the perfect crime

PUBLISHED: 19:00 01 August 2017

Grimeborn. Picture: Idil Sukan

Grimeborn. Picture: Idil Sukan

Image licensed for press and publicity usage for the sitter, dependent on the accreditation to the photographer: Idil Sukan/Draw

Grimeborn is now as indespensible a part of the opera scene as its Sussex older sibling. Ellie O’DonnelL rounds up this year’s festival.

Dalston’s answer to Glyndeborn, Grimeborn is celebrating its 10 year anniversary since being founded by the Arcola’s artistic director Mehmet Ergen in 2007. A decade on, it’s a staple in the opera calendar, showcasing new and experimental works.

The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janácek (July 31– August 4) tells a story of a baby fox that is brought home by a forester and grows up living between the worlds of humans and animals.

Pop Up Opera on August 2 presents Une Education Manquée. Based in the time of Louis XVI, this 45-minute French operetta follows the tale of young newly-weds baffled by their positions of husband and wife.

George Gershwin’s folk opera Porgy and Bess has been the centre of controversy and criticised of racial stereotyping in recent years. Basement Orchestra confronts the piece, filled with twentieth century iconic music such as Summertime (August 5 – 6).

“All’s unfair in love and war”: This sorceress can get any man she wants, but then she falls for her archenemy. Ensemble OrQuesta present the 1686 classic Armide (August 8–12).

The leader of the Israelites, Samson, has superhuman strength. The source of his power is a secret but when his lover Delilah finds out, her discovery threatens to change history - Samson and Delilah runs August 15-26.

Living under an opera house Tilly Mouse loves to sing but unfortunately for her, when people see her they run away. Tilly in Opera Mouse is determined to prove that a mouse can be a singing star (August 6).

Collision from avant-garde artist Kurt Schwitters is set to new music that is influenced by cabaret and jazz. Berlin is in a state of panic when a Green Globe is set on course to collide with earth (August 17 - 19).

Fun at the Festival: Three plays showcasing new writing and opera. The Telephone, Cox and Box and Cycle (August 24-26).

Richard Williamson and CliMar Productions present Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story by Stephen Dolginoff. Few stories are as horrifying as that of the evil of the ‘Thrill Killers’ Leopold and Loeb as they attempt perpetuate the ‘perfect crime’ (August 29– September 2).

For a full line up:


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