BBC Singers: Festival Gala Concert

Illusions (Choir) by Linas Baltas
Forking Paths (Choir) by Marcelo Gimenes
Lampedusa (Opera in 3 acts. Choir, Mezzo-soprano, Bass and Electronics) by Eduardo R. Mirand. Libretto: Eduardo R. Miranda & David J. Peterson.

Director: Victor Ladron de Guevara | Conductor: t.b.a. | Visual design: Kaz Rahman | Costumes: Hedy Hurban

The BBC Singers hold a unique position in British musical life. Performing everything from Byrd to Birtwistle, Tallis to Takemitsu, their versatility is second to none.

The group makes appearances at the BBC Proms each year; concerts in the 2017 festival included music by Palestrina and Judith Weir, conducted by David Hill in Southwark Cathedral, and music on the theme of the Crucifixion conducted by Sofi Jeannin. The vast majority of its performances are broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Based at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios, the choir also gives free performances at St Paul’s Knightsbridge and other venues, including earlier this autumn, a concert programmed by Associate Composer Judith Weir. The BBC Singers also make regular appearances at major festivals across the UK and beyond.

Gala Programme

Neuroscience tells us that our perception of reality are constructions of the brain. Sounds are fabrications of our mind and music is an illusion. Linas’ Illusions is inspired by the intriguing notion that our brain can listen to sonic properties that seem to pop up out from nowhere. Yet, these properties do not show up when we analyse recordings of the actual sounds.

The inspiration for Marcelo’s Forking Paths comes from Jorge Luis Borges’ book The Garden of the Forking Paths. In this book Borges alludes to another fabrication of our brain: the notion of time. When we are confronted with several alternatives we choose one and eliminate others. If we could get rid of time, would we be able to live them simultaneously?

Eduardo’s opera Lampedusa is set in a parallel Shakespearean universe. The plot takes place before the arrival of Prospero and Miranda in Lampedusa, allegedly the island portrayed in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. The opera tells the story of Sycorax, a refugee from Europe, her son, Caliban, and Ariel. Ariel is an invisible native inhabitant who objects Caliban’s ambitions of reigning over the island. Lampedusa includes materials composed with an unprecedented piece of software developed at ICCMR. It renders high-energy particles collision data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider into sounds and music. The libretto is in the imaginary island’s language Vōv, created by celebrated language inventor David J. Peterson.

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