• Founded by award-winning collaborators Daisy Evans and Stephen Higgins, Theatre of Sound will place audiences at the heart of unique and immersive 360 opera experiences
  • Turning the traditional interpretation of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle on its head, its first production retells the opera through the lens of a family living with dementia
  • Internationally renowned singers Susan Bullock, Gerald Finley, Michael Mayes and Gweneth Ann Rand announced to perform alongside the London Sinfonietta
  • Performances will take place at London’s Stone Nest from 4-14 November 2021 alongside a creative participation programme, Judith’s Castle, in collaboration with Live Music Now, London Sinfonietta and Rare Dementia Support

Ground-breaking new opera company Theatre of Sound launches in November 2021 with a radical retelling of one of opera’s great masterpieces.

A new partnership between long-time collaborators Daisy Evans and Stephen Higgins who have a shared passion and vision for presenting opera in new and exciting ways, Theatre of Sound will foster a free flow of artistic ideas across genres and artforms to create intimate, inclusive and innovative experiences of opera for people of all backgrounds. It will launch in November 2021 with a brand new and intimate production of Bluebeard’s Castle by Béla Bartók presented in partnership with arts organisation and performance venue Stone Nest.

Usually presented as a Gothic horror story centred around an abusive relationship, this new, fully staged presentation reimagines the piece as a love story between a long married couple coming to terms with living with dementia. Performances will take place at Stone Nest, which is based in a stunning former Welsh chapel in the heart of London’s West End, from 4-14 November. Sung in English in a newly-commissioned translation, the production features a stellar cast of star singers with soprano Susan Bullock, bass-baritone Gerald Finley, baritone Michael Mayes and soprano Gweneth Ann Rand sharing the principal roles of Duke Bluebeard and Judith under the dynamic direction of Evans, Higgins and their creative team. In a new chamber orchestration, players from the virtuosic London Sinfonietta accompany the fourteen performances conducted by Higgins.   

With only limited tickets available for each performance, this intimate version of the opera for chamber orchestra promises to take audiences on a unique theatrical experience that will place them at the heart of the action, affording a rare opportunity to hear these internationally renowned singers – usually seen performing on the stages of the world’s biggest opera houses – up close and personal. It will also mark the first time a staged opera production has taken place in front of an audience at Stone Nest.

Marking the start of an extended partnership that will explore opera as a powerful pathway for connection with each other and the world around us, Theatre of Sound will join forces with Live Music Now to facilitate a creative participation programme, Judith’s Castle. Created in collaboration with families living with dementia through a partnership with Rare Dementia Support, with dynamic young composer Electra Perivolaris, new work will be premiered on the set of the opera production at Stone Nest, featuring musicians from Live Music Now and the London Sinfonietta.

Further details including dementia-friendly performances and a series of talks and insights from specialists in the field of dementia care, will be announced at a later date.

Evans and Higgins, who have a long track record of successful collaboration on critically acclaimed productions with Silent OperaWelsh National Opera, English National Opera and the Royal Opera House, comment:

Stephen Higgins“This extraordinary masterpiece has been a favourite of mine since childhood, and to have the chance to work with such an amazing cast and creative team to bring it to life in this evocative and extraordinary setting is the fulfilment of a long-held dream. I am particularly excited to reframe the story as a love letter from a devoted husband – a radical reinterpretation which has made me listen to the piece with completely new ears.”

Daisy Evans“Bluebeard’s Castle is one of my all-time favourite operas, and I always understood Bluebeard’s music was filled with intense love and devotion. I want to tell this tale not as a gothic nightmare, but a love story whilst also increasing awareness and understanding around the power of music for people living with dementia.”

Tickets are now on sale here priced from £35 with concessions also available including an offer of 10 tickets per show at £20 for under 25s.

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