Preview: The Silver Swan, McEwan Hall, Edinburgh
Swanning about as high art
Tuesday 09 August 2005
The work uses as its base two 17th-century songs, which have been given a contemporary twist by the composers William Lawes and John Smith. It was first performed in 1999 at Battersea Arts Centre in London, and last year at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio. This year, it will grace the vast, domed space of McEwan Hall as part of the Edinburgh Festival. The audience will gaze down on the white-clad, unaccompanied singers from the venue's balconies.
Each of the singers' steps is carefully choreographed, adding a deeper meaning to the music, says Clark: "We can all try to do something perfectly, but there is more going on beneath the surface beauty - a bit like a swan... One of the key lines sung by the seven females is 'More geese than swans now live/ More fools than wise.'"
He continues: "It is unusual to have a through-written score - which is normally reserved for ballet and opera - performed live by classical musicians and fused with visual theatre."
Clark has previously written experimental chamber operas for Opera North (The Weather Man) and for the ICA (Liebeslied/My Suicides), both performed last year. He set up The Clod Ensemble in 1995 with Suzy Willson as a performance group with music and movement at its heart; their most recent show, The Red Ladies, was performed earlier this summer in London as part of Architecture Week. It consisted of 29 identically dressed women wearing red stilettos and red headscarves (seven of whom made up a brass band), who converged on Trafalgar Square to sing lines from the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
21 to 28 August, not 26 (0131-662 8740)
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Dheepan, film review: Palme d'Or prize goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Game of Thrones, The Gift, Season 5, Episode 7: Why two of the show’s most iconic characters just met
Eurovision 2015: Estonia seemingly enters Louis Tomlinson from One Direction
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland