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Keith Burstein’s new opera, ‘The Prometheus Revolution’, has been performed by Fulham Opera at the Arcola Theatre this week, as part of 2018’s Grimeborn festival.

It’s been such a fantastic campaign, we wanted to share some of the press highlights! Have a look below…

Planet Hugill

Robert Hugill (Planet Hugill)

“Highly charged and richly passionate music….

An uneasy mix: politics, spirituality and melody in Keith Burstein’s new opera

A new opera which combines politics, new-age spirituality and an unashamedly tonal score.

…Burstein’s music is unashamedly tonal and after the complex piano prelude we were plunged into a torrent of melody. Just as the plot began in media res, Burstein’s score is similarly highly charged and passionate from the outset. His writing is a stream of melody; as a composer, I also write tunes in my operas but mine are usually hard won and I cannot help but admire Burstein’s sheer fertility…

…Burstein used familiar tropes in unfamiliar ways…

…The confined space also meant that it was rather a noisy affair at times, in richly passionate music you can hardly expect singers to shut up, and I longed for a larger auditorium…

…I have to commend the cast, all of whom gave sterling performances. Each singer had their own moment or moments, and there were a lot of notes. Everyone really committed themselves to the performance and to the piece, and their support for new opera is admirable.”

Meirion Bowen

“…Burstein’s music… had an adroitly conceived mixture of styles indebted not only to opera, but to Broadway and pop ballads. The singers here, led by Alex Haigh, as the billionaire, and Lucie Louvrier as his infatuated PA, were uniformly excellent, clearly relishing their voice-lines, and acting skilfully. They were accompanied throughout by a pianist (Ben Woodward, a skilful performer, here): but it seemed to me that Burstein’s score would have made a much stronger impact if it had been orchestrated. A project for the future: though I hope Burstein has the opportunity to embark on fresh dramatic projects, as he quite clearly has both talent and imagination.”

TheatreCat

“…Prometheus stole fire from the gods in order to ensure human progress, and met with a grisly eternal punishment as a reward: Zeus’ eagle devouring his liver daily. Keith Burstein’s new opera The Prometheus Revolution attempts to engage with this Greek myth through a story of modern-day capitalism and revolt. Peter (Alex Haigh) redirects two trillion pounds from the City to the Prometheus Peace Movement, revivifying a socially rebellious organisation which he founded, but left to become a successful banker or deep undercover rebel agent: his erstwhile partner in the Prometheus Movement, Aaron (Robert Garland), can’t be sure which, as the (mainly sexual) tensions of their youth threaten to break the Movement apart just as civil war finally gets going. Fulham Opera field a dazzlingly strong young cast to give Burstein’s opera its world premiere; singing is lyrical and compelling throughout, piano accompaniment from Ben Woodward richly expressive, direction from Sophie Gilpin clear and clever. Sunny Smith’s pared-down, efficient design uses a grid of steel ropes on a platform in the centre of the playing space to suggest the glass and steel of a City office, or a prison cell; the addition of blinds, swags or banners suggests meeting rooms, hotel balconies and Movement HQ…..

…However, despite music, design and direction all being on point, The Prometheus Revolution is a severe test of performance…

…Caroline Carragher’s Wona is outstanding; James Schouten’s Des, brilliantly vivid; Nick Dwyer’s oily Zapruder, eye-catchingly charismatic…

…what [the singers] achieve with this piece is seriously impressive.”

Audience feedback

“Great show, incredible music, amazing night.” – Danai Nardi
 
“ It has completely changed my view of opera. Great journey and incredibly deep ideas.” – Abdurahman Jafar
 
“An unforgettable experience. Tremendously moving music.” – Ken Jones
 
“I left humming the tunes.” – Richard Stoner
 
“Good to see how well your opera has been received. Not at all surprising given its quality of composition and the outstanding performance by Fulham Opera.” – David and Sue Fergusson

(Written on August 9, 2018 )

We’re very pleased to be working with composer Keith Burstein on a PR campaign ahead of the world premiere of his new work The Prometheus Revolution, performed as part of the Grimeborn Opera Festival 2018 (Arcola Theatre).

Keith Burstein was born in Brighton to a musical family; both his parents were classical violinists who played for Sadlers Wells Ballet, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Ulster Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Hallé Orchestra.

Burstein held two scholarships at the Royal College of Music in London where he studied composition with Bernard Stevens and John Lambert. Post-graduation, he continued his composition studies with Jonathan Harvey. Between 1983 and 1991, Burstein led contemporary music ensemble the Grosvenor Group. He has since won the very active support of major mentors to him, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Arvo Pärt.

Described by The Telegraph as “an ardent new romantic post-modernist”, Burstein composes uniquely tonal music, reflecting his optimism for the future of humanity. His controversial views on modern contemporary music have earned him notoriety amongst his contemporaries, having stated previously that “tonality is the universal alphabet of music”.

Burstein’s opera Manifest Destiny premiered in 2004 in London, garnering controversy for its handling of the topic of Middle Eastern suicide bombers renouncing violence.

© Fulham Opera 2018

The Prometheus Revolution has been inspired in part by the 2012 Occupy movement’s “99% vs the 1%” ideology, and with a focus on peace and disarmament, will commemorate the centenary year of the end of World War I.

Set in the near future, the opera opens with the UK in meltdown in the aftermath of the fascistic Prime Minister and his wife taking poison, soon replaced by another shadowy authority figure. When two trillion pounds go missing from the City of London, the army is poised to take control of the anticipated mayhem.

Presented by Fulham Opera, performances will be on the 7, 8 and 10 of August, and tickets can be purchased from the Grimeborn website. Keith has completed a commission for the London Chamber Orchestra which will be premiered in their 2019-2020 season.

(Written on June 21, 2018 )