If you saw ‘Your Call…’ Part 1 in last year’s Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival you’re in for many surprises this year when you see the complete work. Clocking in at about 55 minutes, ‘Your Call…’ has undergone major transformations.

The biggest and most obvious change is the addition of a second Mezzo Soprano. American mezzo Hai-Ting Chinn joins the cast as a second iteration of ‘The Woman.’ Splitting one character between two performers is a reflection on the unreliability of online identity and the ways we can shape our online image, enhancing or subverting reality.

DSCF9417You’ll hear a lot of new music in the complete ‘Your Call…’ Having the second voice much more than doubles the musical possibilities. The second voice enriches and deepens the musical texture in a very dramatic way. Both in speaking and singing they share lines, even splitting individual sentences between them as well as singing together.

The character of ‘The Woman’ has a relationship to technology that is very intense. Her reliance on technology and fear of human-social interactions overwhelm her existence. And we get the sense that she wouldn’t have it any other way. Over and over again she answers a phone, listens and replies, “Oh no, no, no. You’re confusing this one with the other one.” This becomes a real issue for The Woman. Her only interaction with another human always seems to go wrong. She repeatedly retreats to the safety of her phone, even singing, “A friend you can mute is a friend forever.”

Fundamental elements of communication are getting a deeper look as well. The set and props are made of circles, squares and triangles – fundamental elements of visual communication. Made of Boxes, along with many many megaphones, you’ll see circles (end of a megaphone), squares (boxes), and triangles (megaphones on end). The vowels, a, e, i, o, u, fundamental elements of aural communication, are both spoken and sung as well as being presented in sign language and semaphore signals. And then there are the phones, old and new, big and small, everywhere

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S-O-S, the universal signal of distress is a recurring refrain, woven throughout ‘Your Call…’ in Morse code, semaphore signals, sign language and within the score itself. Is this an unconscious cry for help? On the surface she doesn’t appear to want any help. Is this a manifestation of concern from the synthetic voices who see how her over-reliance on technology has taken over her external life? Only The Woman knows for sure.

There is a darkness in ‘Your Call…’ that is juxtaposed with broad physical comedy. We hope that you’ll find it as funny as it is disturbing. The character of The Woman makes everyday gestures into a language of their own. She is clearly unaware that she is expressing herself with her body. She doesn’t need to since her only meaningful relationships are online.

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The difference between the internal and external is accentuated throughout the new version of ‘Your Call…’ Spoken text is external, an increasingly desperate attempt to understand and be understood. Sung text is internal, fragmented, jumping randomly from thought to thought. The theatrical ‘fourth wall’ is repeatedly shattered in the performance, always with spoken text. What’s said needs to be heard. What’s sung is bouncing around inside her head.

Overall the new ‘Your Call…’ is bigger, funnier, darker, and more thought provoking. It’s a wild ride across a theatrical landscape that starts inside ‘The Woman’s’ head, weaves its way through the internet and lands on the floor of King’s Place, Hall 2.

Oh, and we’ll ask you to please mute your phones (we’ll be friends forever) but please do Tweet with the hashtag #ycopera during the show. We’ll be doing that from the stage and we want you all to be in on the fun. Hope to see you there, 8 – 9 August!

Lisa J. Coates & Kevin Jones

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www.yourcallopera.com

http://on.fb.me/1rZvxj1

www.twitter.com/yourcallopera

(Written on July 29, 2015 )

WildKat PR welcomes back the brilliant conductor Rachael Young to its client roster. Highlights of Rachael’s 2015/16 season include 2 performances in Santiago with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chilé  on the 23rd and 24th October and the 18th May with the Kammerorchester Berlin.

Having started her career as a cellist in her native New Zealand and moving on to Massachusetts and London with her studies, Rachael started conducting in 2009, progressing quickly under the guidance of Maestro Leonid Grin.

Rachael has thrived by working with ensembles including the Russian Virtuosi of Europe, the London Soloists Chamber and the Parnu City Orchestra. Likewise, her experience has grown as an assistant conductor alongside Paavo Jarvi and Leonid Grin and in recordings with Steven Isserlis of the Prokofiev and Shostakovich cello concerto. In recent years, conducting masterclasses at both the Jarvi Academy Summer and Winter Academies in Estonia have further determined Rachael’s growing reputation.

Keep up to date with Rachael on the WildKat PR blog and on her website.

For tickets to her concert with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chilé click here and for tickets with the Kammerorchester Berlin, click here.

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(Written on July 24, 2015 )

WildKat PR is pleased to be working with London-based Ensemble Perpetuo once again.

Perpetuo’s concerts appeal to all senses through collaborations with choreographers, chefs, artists, sculptors and photographers for their live shows.

Formed in 2013 by British oboist James Turnbull, the group specialises in these multi-art form collaborations, with several talented musicians at the heart of the performance. Traveling around the UK allows them to perform in a variety of locations such as theatres, museums and cafes, enhancing the power of the context of both traditional and contemporary music.

Ensemble Perpetuo presented their sold-out launch event Cityscapes earlier in 2015. With music spanning 200 years inspired by the world’s great cities, art and photographs featuring urban landscapes, sculpture and a dance created for one of the works, the event was a perfect introduction to the group’s work.

In the coming months, WildKat PR will work with the ensemble on two London events. On the 6th September, the group will present Rivers & Oceans, a collaboration with Bitter Suite at Rich Mix London in which the audience will enjoy food themed around each piece of music on the programme. For tickets, see the Rich Mix website.

On the 9th November, they look further afield in their Heavenly Sights concert. Alongside music inspired by other planets, the audience can experiment with an interactive sculpture which converts sound into visible light. Keep an eye on the WildKat PR blog and the ensemble’s website for updates.

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(Written on July 24, 2015 )

According to industry body BPI, sales of classical recordings fell by 5% last year and for many, the classical genre continues to carry a certain stigma, which is difficult to shake. It is no secret that classical music hasn’t always found it easy to move with the times. However, recent years have shown a flourish of exciting new material – from fringe opera to flash mobs.

At the forefront of this revolution is contemporary opera festival Tête-à-Tête, which saw its opening night last night at ‘The Place’. The final performance of the evening was composer Tim Benjamin’s Life Stories, produced by Radius. The double-bill featured R.I.P and Silent Jack – two one-act operas based on gripping, dark short stories by Anton Chekhov and Anthony Peter.

Feedback after the performances of Life Stories earlier this month demonstrated the impact that contemporary productions have. With 18% of audience members first-time opera-goers, and 96% giving positive or strongly positive reviews, the possibility for performances such as this to attract a new public is clear.

A second London performance of Life Stories will take place at 8:55pm at ‘The Place’ tonight. Click here for details of how to buy tickets and support the opera revolution!

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(Written on July 22, 2015 )

The Hallé Orchestra has invited audience members to attend their Priceless Classics concert ‘on their own terms.’ Admission and programmes for the event will be free of charge, although listeners may make a contribution according to how much they feel the concert is worth on the night in person, by phone or online.

The concert will include a selection of classical favourites including Handel’s Water Music and Bach’s Suite No. 3 in a relaxed setting, as concertgoers will be able to come and go as they wish and even bring their own drinks.

With the stigma surrounding classical music, branding it as formal and stuffy, could this be a way to attract a new audience?

Priceless Classics will take place on 6 September 2015 at 6:00pm at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

Click here to find out more.

(Written on July 21, 2015 )

In honour of Bastille Day, here at WildKat PR we have been taking a moment to reflect on all things French! Here are our favourite French composers and a few guilty pleasures…


Composers

1. Debussy

Despite being born into an unmusical, working class family, Debussy’s talent for music blossomed at an early age. He studied composition at the Paris Conservatoire from the age of 10 where he developed his skills as the renowned Impressionist composer we know him as today.

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2. Ravel

Best-known for Boléro (used by Torvill and Dean), Ravel is one of France’s most celebrated Impressionist composers, although like Debussy, he rejected this label.

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3. Fauré 

Fauré didn’t have an easy life. However, despite the late onset of his success, his increasing deafness and aural hallucinations, he produced some of France’s most popular and adored music, including his nocturnes and songs like ‘Clair de Lune’

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4. Lully

Less frequently played than the other composers on our list, Lully was  a very important French composer. Modern film ‘Le Roi Danse’ depicts his role as composer to king Louis XIV.

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5. Saint-Saëns

Another child star, Saint-Saëns gave his first private performance at the age of 5 and started composing the year after. ‘Carnival of the Animals’ and ‘Danse Macabre’ are his most popular works.

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Guilty pleasures

1. Wine

If there’s one thing the French know how to do, it’s wine. And for this, we are truly grateful.

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2. Cheese

Brie, camembert, roquefort, emmental. We could go on…

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3. Disneyland Paris

Rides, Disney music and Mickey Mouse. What’s not to love?

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4. Les Mis

Is this a guilty pleasure? Opinion here is divided.

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5. Croissants

Whilst we are conscious our list of guilty pleasures is a little culinary-heavy, it would be unfair not to give this delicious delicacy a brief mention.

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(Written on July 14, 2015 )

WildKat PR is excited to introduce our newest client, artistic director Damian Marhulets and the German based Project Agency he founded.

Damian began his musical career at the age of six when he was accepted into the prestigious Minsk College of Music to study the oboe. He won several international competitions and performed with highly renowned orchestras and ensembles.

When he moved to Germany in 2000, his music career took a new turn. He expanded his studies at the Hannover Music Academy and later in Cologne, with courses in modern composition and discovered his love for electronic music. With his music he has toured all over Europe and the USA, playing his own works at renowned concert houses and festivals such as the Philharmonic Hall Essen, Berghain Club in Berlin, Microsound Music Festival and “PlayWithFire” Video-Art Festival in New York.

In 2014 he founded his own project agency, developing extraordinary projects, by combining different musical genres as well as other artistic fields. Through his work as an artistic director, he has worked with various outstanding artists to carry out inter-disciplinary productions worldwide.

We are very much looking forward to working with Damian on his upcoming innovative projects. Keep checking the WildKat PR blog for updates as well as Damian’s website, facebook and twitter.

@Natalya Masharova

Photo credit: Natalya Masharova

(Written on July 8, 2015 )

WildKat PR is delighted to welcome our newest client, David Pearl.

As a corporate creativity maestro, opera singer, writer, speaker and keen amateur cyclist, David was asked to launch of one of the fastest bikes in the world, the S-Works Venge by Specialized. Alongside Mark Cavendish, Jenson Button and Gordon Ramsay, David has released an inspiring 5-minute video about exploring mindfulness through music – finding the gaps in your day, the spaces between the beats. 

David is a pioneer of ‘Arts in Business.’ He believes that business is pure theatre and companies can learn a lot from the arts world. He uses techniques drawn from his own classical background, in the boardroom – working with high profile clients to get concrete results. He saved GSK Vaccines 13 million euro!

David’s skills and interests are wide-ranging, which means he has a busy and varied schedule – from working with his two charities Street Wisdom and Impropera, to peace building in the Middle East, to cycling through the Italian countryside. We are very happy to be working with him at this exciting moment in his career.

Keep an eye on our blog, as well as David’s website and his blog for the Huffington Post for more details about what he is up to. Watch his Specialized video here.

David Pearl

(Written on July 3, 2015 )

WildKatPR is excited to introduce our newest client, Constella Ballet & Opera in the run up to their performances of ‘Clown of Clowns’ as part of the Grimeborn Opera Festival this August.

This two-part operatic and balletic circus spectacular ‘Clown of Clowns’ takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, following  Pierrot the clown’s quest to gain a place amongst the other Sideshows acts – a story told through new choreography and Schoenberg’s iconic score.

Sideshows features conductor and composer Leo Geyer‘s explosive jazz-inspired score. Broadcast on Radio 3, it was also described as, ‘what modern opera should be, complex yet approachable, highly characterised and brilliantly realised’ by Planet Hugill in 2014.

Dancers, singers and instrumentalists will come together on the stage, all in character – just an arm’s reach from the audience, promoting an immersive and intimate experience for all involved as this show spirals out of control!

We are very much looking forward to working with Constella on this exciting and innovative project. Keep checking the WildKat PR blog for updates as well as the Constella website.

Performances will take place at 20.00 every night from 4th – 8th August at the Arcola Theatre and can now be purchased on the Arcola Theatre website.

Clown of Clowns

Photo credit: Constella website

(Written on June 26, 2015 )

WildKat PR is delighted to introduce our newest client Anneleen Lenaerts. The 28 year old Belgian harpist is making  a name for herself as one of the leading soloists on her instrument. Since December 2010, Anneleen has been the Principal Harpist of the Vienna Philharmonic. With her Album ‘Harp Concertos’, she presents a 2015 remastering of fellow Belgian composer, Joseph Jongen’s music. Anneleen has also released two other CDs, ‘Chopin&Liszt’ and a collaboration with oboist Karel Schoofs. She furthermore collaborated with last season’s raising star clarinetist Dionysis Grammenos.

From an early age she started winning an impressive array of prizes, namely 17 prizes between 1997 and 2009, of which the “Grand Prix International Lily Laskine” and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich are particularly outstanding. Since then, she has played in many high-profile venues all over the world, including Wigmore Hall in London and the Festspielhaus in Salzburg.

Whilst the romantic lyricism of these works is closely associated with the qualities of the harp, it is her virtuosity which gains particular attraction, thanks to Anneleen Lenaerts’ skill and articulation. Highly praised by critics, she is known for her impressive technical ability, her precise playing, variety of tone and excellent musical phrasing. This year she will be touring the USA as well as Germany, Austria and Belgium.

We are very much looking forward to working with Anneleen and to help her getting a bigger audience for her wonderful music. Keep checking the WildKat PR blog for updates and also WildKat PR blog for updates and also Anneleen’s website.

Anneleen Lenaerts

Anneleen Lenaerts

(Written on June 24, 2015 )