Last week’s two-night run of Sacrifices, by Vignette Productions and La Nuova Musica, directed by Andrew Staples, has this week been praised in its reviews in the press. The modern setting and simplicity of direction was seen as ‘wholly appropriate’ to the intricate works of Charpentier and Carissimi, praise indeed for Andrew’s work (Exeunt Magazine).
Sacrifices was performed in Shoreditch Town Hall, as part of the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival, a venue which was ‘resonant enough to fill out the sound without swamping it’, an important factor for such a dark yet moving performance (The Evening Standard).
The Evening Standard celebrated La Nuova Musica for providing musicality and colour ‘of often heartbreaking poignancy’, whilst uplifting all of the performers and musicians as ‘exquisite’.
The direction by Andrew, ‘a fine tenor branching into theatre direction’ (The Times) was commended for drawing ‘poingnant, assured performances from the young actors and singers’, also noting the skill with which they performed the difficult polyphony entirely from memory. The Times also individually celebrated the soprano Sophie Junker for her performance of Jephte’s Daughter in the Carissimi work, in particular the ‘touchingly sung’ lament before she is tragically sacrificed; whilst Exeunt Magazine noted Sophie’s fellow soprano Augusta Hebbert for being both confident and engaging.
Andrew’s triumphant work at Spitalfields was applauded as a whole, with the ‘clever linking’ of the two works bringing them up to date and making them relevant to today’s society, in an ultimate portrayal that, even now, Sacrifice can ultimately never be evaded (The Times).
La Nuova Musica in Rehearsal at Shoreditch Town Hall
(Written on June 20, 2012 )