The BBC Proms at Printworks:
An operatic spectacle featuring dance, art, film, and fashion

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The BBC Proms are delighted to announce details for the Proms and the ENO at Printworks London: Glass Handel, which takes place on Saturday 3 September.

Created and co-produced by Grammy-award winning countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, Cath Brittan, Visionaire and the English National Opera in collaboration with Printworks London, Glass Handel combines music by Handel and Philip Glass to create a unique operatic experience featuring dance, fashion, film, soundscapes and live painting from British Artist Glenn Brown, CBE (replacing previously announced George Condo).

The creatives involved include:

  • Philip Glass who will present the world premiere of a new work, No More, You Petty Spirits;
  • Karen Kamensek who will conduct the English National Opera orchestra;
  • Nature beatboxer Jason Singh, who will provide soundscapes reflecting sounds local to Printworks;
  • British Artist Glenn Brown, CBE, who will live paint during the performance;
  • Justin Peck, the Tony award-winning choreographer and Resident Choreographer with the New York City Ballet;
  • Fashion designer Raf Simons, who designed the costumes;
  • Opera music videos by James Ivory & Pix Talarico, Daniel Askill, Mark Romanek, Rupert Sanders; the duo behind Toiletpaper Magazine Maurizio Cattelan & Pierpaolo Ferrari; Tilda Swinton & Sandro Kopp; painter Mickalene Thomas; multi-disciplinary collective AES+F; James Kaliardos & Marisa Tomei; and a new video by artist Jacolby Satterwhite which will accompany the live recording of the Glass premiere.

Anthony Roth Costanzo says: ‘Finding ways for classical music to tell new stories and to engage more people has become my mission. What if I asked some of the world’s greatest artists in the visual fields to show us the music of Handel and Philip Glass through their lens? Dance, painting, film, and fashion might reveal new facets of this sound world that I couldn’t imagine on my own, and which might entice new audience members in the process. There are an endless number of possible stories contained in the capacious room of Printworks. Promenade between different artforms and become immersed in how dancers, filmmakers, a painter, a sound artist, and a fashion designer hear this music, and you may find their visual world colours how you hear it yourself.’

Glass Handel had its premiere in the US in 2018 in partnership with Opera Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation, National Sawdust, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This production has been re-imagined for a London audience and the vast space of Printworks, a multi-use venue created in the former home of the largest printing factory in Western Europe, and celebrated as one of the best clubs in the world. Costanzo’s aim is to attract new audiences who might not have engaged with classical music before through collaborations with other art forms including dance, art, film and fashion.

Annilese Miskimmon, Artistic Director of the ENO, says: ‘What an enormous a privilege for us, the ENO, to come together with this phenomenal group of old and new friends. The event promises to be a truly unique experience; by fusing music, dance, fashion and art, it will push the boundaries of how classical music can be experienced. We exist to bring opera to new audiences, so to be performing at Printworks, a venue that has become an alternative London landmark, is hugely exciting.’

David Pickard, Director, BBC Proms, says: ‘At the very heart of the BBC Proms is the mission to bring classical music to new audiences. This includes travelling to new venues, both around London and across the UK, and working with a diverse range of artists. Glass Handel brings together visionary creatives from the worlds of classical music, visual art, film and fashion. I am incredibly excited to see the result of their collaboration staged in one of London’s most spectacular industrial spaces.’

There will be two performances of Glass Handel, a matinee at 3pm and an evening performance at 8pm. Each performance runs for approximately 75 minutes with no intervals. Further details can be found on the BBC Proms website here.