The Russians are coming…
The Khovansky Files: A National Enquiry
by Modest Musorgsky
directed by Graham Vick
in a new English version by Max Hoehn
with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stuart Stratford
22, 24, 28, 30 April and 2 May 2014
Birmingham Opera Company present a new production of Musorgsky’s The Khovansky Files: A National Enquiry.
Over the last 15 months Birmingham Opera Company has been exploring the work of Modest Musorgsky (also Mussorgsky). We kicked off in spring 2013 with a special digital and performance project in partnership with BBC Birmingham built on the beautiful song cycle, Songs and Dances of Death. Now in 2014, we're mounting a new production of Musorgsky's The Khovansky Files: A National Enquiry with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
The Khovansky Files: A National Enquiry raises strikingly modern parallels; the story takes place in a Russia divided by powerful conservative forces and growing Westernising influence. Musorgsky paints a devastating portrait of a nation on the brink of collapse; torn apart by state corruption, religious fanaticism, social inequality and ethnic cleansing.
An Official UK - Russia Year of Culture 2014 Event, the powerful political drama about rebellion and revolution will be performed in a secret venue in Birmingham. Director Graham Vick was one of the first international directors to be invited behind the Iron Curtain, by Valery Gergiev to direct Prokofiev’s War and Peace at the Kirov in 1991. Over 30 years later his current new production of Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov can be seen this year at the Mariinsky Theatre. Vick now directs Musorgsky’s final opera for the first time and in the UK.
Box Office information: We will be running the box office through our new website which will be launched shortly. Thank you for your interest.
What a wonderful 2013...
2013 got off to a great start with us winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Opera and Music Theatre ( the classical "Oscars") and a nomination in the World Premiere category at the International Opera Awards for our 2012 production of Stockhausen's Mittwoch aus Licht, which also made it into the top ten events of the year in The New Yorker. Closer to home, Graham Vick was honoured to receive this year's Midlands Lifetime Achievement Award at the Birmingham Made Me Design Expo 2013, as voted by the people of Birmingham.
We also launched our 15 month exploration of Musorgsky's music; "The Russians are coming" with "Songs and Dances of Death". With specially commissioned English words by TV satirist and West End playwright Alistair Beaton and directed by Graham Vick, we took these extraordinary songs around the city in a series of pop up performances in venues as varied as shopping centres, Symphony Hall, "The Irish Centre", Birmingham Cathedral, Flatpack film festival, Brasshouse Language School, Joseph Chamberlain College and many more. And we teamed up with organisations like SIFA Fireside drop-in centre, Kerria Court Care Home, Chinese Community Centre and Job Centre Plus to provide opportunities for their clients to experience performances on their doorstep and to get involved creatively with a stellar team of Birmingham Opera Company artists.
To fulfil our digital ambitions and build on our successful "Helicopter String Quartet" project with The Space, we formed a successful partnership with BBC Birmingham and BBC Academy, training up 12 local film makers to create over 20 short films with professional artists and our volunteers. We'll be releasing these films over the coming months to build up to our next production The Khovansky Files: A National Enquiry, by Modest Musorgsky which features the fabulous City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Performances run 22,24,28 30 April and 2 May in Birmingham. Booking will open in late January 2014. For more information see www.birminghamopera.org.uk
A special thanks
Special thanks goes to all our volunteers, supporters and funders including Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council, Peter Moores Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, City of Birmingham Orchestral Endowment Fund, BBC Birmingham, BBC Academy and individual donors who make this work possible.
Birmingham Opera Company is scouting for people to get involved in our next big production, The Khovansky Files: A National Enquiry, in April 2014. We're looking for people to get involved in singing, acting and dancing. First up is the call for singers. There's a special open day event on November 23rd at The Bond in Fazeley Street. There's more information HERE
Graham Vick and Richard Willacy will be giving the Keynote Address to the Digital City Culture Day hosted by BBC Birmingham, BBC Academy and Arts Council England. This is a high level gathering of the best of cultural and digital practitioners in the region. We're delighted that Graham and Richard have been invited to share their experience of creating and developing cultural content ranging from world-wide streaming of Mittwoch aus Licht to documenting performances and work at grass roots in Birmingham with users SIFA Fireside and residents at Kerria Court.
We're recruiting for Chorus Mentors for our new production of The Khovansky Files: A National Enquiry by Musorgsky. The call is for professional singers interested in extending their skills into participation practice as well as performing.
Rehearsals begin in January 2014 and the performances are in late April/early May. You will be working with Chorus Master, Jonathan Laird preparing and rehearsing our volunteer chorus drawn from across the city and beyond. We're currently seeking professionally trained singers to take a lead in mentoring our volunteers through the process starting with score-reading to enthusiastic encouragement in rehearsals, through staging and finally to the premiere on 22nd April 2014.
Details of how to apply and a schedule are included in the link to the .pdf below:
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