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Text and Subtext: The Limits of Metaphor, Christchurch Centre

Artistic Director of Shadwell Opera and Herald Angel Award winner Jack Furness joins Opera Prelude Young Artist Amy Lyddon (mezzo-soprano) for an exciting journey through the interpretation of text and subtext in opera.

Director Jack Furness comes face to face with a particularly thorny interpretative question on a day to day basis: how literally should one interpret the text of an opera? Characters in opera often say they want to die, for example. Does this mean they really want to? When is something literal and when is it poetic speech? What are the limits of metaphor in opera and how can the music help us answer these questions? 

In this talk, he and fellow Cambridge graduate Amy Lyddon (mezzo-soprano) team up to explore how different interpretations of text can change the audience's perception of events, and ask what this means for the relevance of opera in the 21st Century. Their discussion will be accompanied by the performance of well-loved opera arias from the 17th Century to the present day, including works by Handel and Mozart.

Jack and Amy first worked together in Shadwell Opera's 2011 production of Albert Herring, performing throughout the UK and at Opera Holland Park to critical acclaim. Shadwell Opera has produced a series of critically acclaimed, sold-out productions and, like Opera Prelude, involves a fine roster of young artists. Since 2014, its focus has been on seminal British works of the past half century in the context of a wider European modernism. These shows have consistently thrilled both those new to opera and seasoned opera goers. For more information, please visit www.shadwellopera.co.uk

Friday 30th November, 10:30-12:30

The Christ Church Centre
46 Reading Rd
Henley on Thames