|SONGS AND DANCES OF DEATH
A Candlelit Concert in the Cemetery
with Oskar McCarthy (baritone) and Rob Keeley (piano)
Saturday 22nd October and Sunday 23rd October from 7:30 pm
PLEASE NOTE AS THE CEMETERY WILL BE CLOSED FROM 5 PM THE ONLY ENTRANCE THAT WILL BE OPEN FOR THE PERFORMANCE IS THE ONE ON OLD BROMPTON ROAD. THE GATE WILL BE OPEN FROM 7:15 to 7:45 PM - NO LATECOMERS WILL BE ADMITTED.
Mussorgsky composed this work, his most popular song cycle in the mid 1870s, just seven years before his own early passing. Wasted by alcoholism and alone in life, Mussorgsky conjured the spectre of death up as a figure of numerous guises: as the nanny who rocks a sick child into eternal sleep, as a lover who serenades a dying elderly lady under her window, as a dancing partner who lulls a drunken peasant to stumble to his death in the enfolding snow and as a General commanding the armies of both sides in a bloody battle.
Shostakovich, well known for his morbid disposition, was a great admirer of the cycle. His only complaint was that there weren’t enough songs, inspiring him to write his Fourteenth Symphony on a similar conception.
For London Month of the Dead 2016, baritone Oskar McCarthy and virtuoso Rob Keeley will collaborate to perform a brand new in-the-round staging of Mussorgsky's 'Songs and Dances of Death', with movement direction by Rachel Drazek, alongside three short works for solo piano by Alexander Scriabin and the world premiere of Gramophone Award winning composer Robin Holloway's new trio of songs 'Retreats and Advances' (written to poems by A.S.J Tessimond).
Please note Brompton Cemetery will be closed to the general public from 5 pm. By special dispensation, the entrance on Old Brompton Road wil be open for the concert but this entails a lantern lit walk through the cemetery to the chapel and may not be advisable for those of a nervous disposition.
Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin Cocktail. Please click here to buy.
Oskar McCarthy studied English and Modern Languages at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar. His operatic roles include Uberto (La serva padrona), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Taddeo (L’italiana in Algeri) for Pop-Up Opera, Falke (Die Fledermaus) and Binnacle/Garibdis (Ulla’s Odyssey) for OperaUpClose, Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas) and Secrecy (The Fairy Queen) for Barefoot Opera, Dottorre/Marchese (La traviata), Angelotti/Sciarrone (Tosca), Escamillo (CarMen) and Orest (Elektra) for Secret Opera, Angelotti (Tosca) Leporello (Don Gioavnni) and Bello (La fanciulla del west) for Midsummer Opera, Trinity Moses (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) for King's Opera, and Arsamenes (Serse) and Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park) for Hampstead Garden Opera. Recent concert work includes the role of Zurga in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles, Mozart and Duruflé's Requiems for the Brandenburg Choral Festival and Handel's Messiah for the National Portrait Gallery. Recital work includes Kindertotenlieder and the UK premiere of Schoeck's song cycle Buried Alive for the London Month of the Dead. Oskar is a core company member of ERRATICA, an ensemble with whom he trains and devises innovative cross-genre work, and he is actively involved in actor-musician projects, both as a horn player and singer. www.oskarmccarthy.com
Rob Keeley studied with Oliver Knussen at the Royal College of Music, Magdalen College Oxford under Bernard Rose, and later with Robert Saxton. In 1988 he studied at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome with Franco Donatoni, and at the Tanglewood Summer Music School, where he was the Benjamin Britten Fellow in Composition, working with Oliver Knussen and Hans Werner Henze. Before joining King’s in 1993 Rob was a freelance pianist and repetiteur, working for Opera Factory, Almeida Opera and Garsington Opera. He has also played with the London Sinfonietta and Music Projects/London, and now gives frequent solo recitals covering a wide range of repertoire.