A Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta Homemakers Commission
A trip to the Amazon takes an unexpected turn.
Music, text and visuals combine in a poetic reflection on the world we live in.
Alex Ho and Elayce Ismail have never met in person.
Neither had used zoom before lockdown.
They now know a lot about the inside of each other’s homes: where the best signal is, what’s hanging on the back of that door just in shot, how well the sound of a reversing truck in London carries to Cambridge…
Out of this virtual meeting, and sharing of lives and ideas, came AMAZON. The making of the piece mirrors their experiences of lockdown: what started as a meditation on the suspension of time and collapse of space, became a quest for connection to the world beyond their screens and outside their windows. The result was a surprising and joyful creative collaboration that took them on a journey to the other side of the world.
Tickets are available as ‘Pay What You Can’ – the suggested price for this event is £10 – but there are a range of ticket prices so you can choose what you can afford from the options, including £0 as we want as many people as possible to access our Homemakers commissions.
We’ve also included a higher option for anyone who wants to take the opportunity to make a larger donation to our artists and organisations. How much you choose to pay is completely up to you, and every audience member will receive exactly the same content and experience.
All the money raised from ticket sales for this event will be split evenly with 50% going directly to the artist and 50% to Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta’s response fund to allow them to continue to support future artists and commissions.
Homemakers Project Overview
Homemakers is a series of new commissions, where we invite our favourite artists and artistic partners to combine to create work at home, for an audience who are also at home.
We’re not pretending that all art can be experienced online just as satisfactorily as in person; but we want to demonstrate the innovation of artists who work all kinds of forms, by inviting them to respond to this very specific context. We want to bring contemporary new performance to audiences all over the world, in all its form-flexing, mind-expanding, surprising subversive brilliance.
About Alex Ho
Alex Ho is a British-Chinese composer based in London. One of the London Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Soundhub’ composers, Alex has had pieces performed/commissioned by the LSO, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera House, and National Opera Studio. His works have featured at SoundState Festival (Southbank Centre, London), Sound Unbound (Barbican Centre, London), Chinese Arts Now (LSO St. Luke’s), and BBC Late Junction. Alex was joint-winner of the Philip Bates Composition Competition in 2016, one of Sound and Music’s ‘New Voices 2018’, a Help Musicians UK Fusion Fund Artist in 2019, and winner of the George Butterworth Award 2020. Upcoming projects are with Nevis Ensemble (digital commission, summer 2020) and Riot Ensemble (Crossroads Festival, Salzburg, November 2020).
Alex graduated with first-class honours from Oxford in 2016 before completing a master’s at Cambridge in 2017 where he was awarded the Arthur Bliss Prize in Composition. He is currently studying for a doctorate at the Royal College of Music with a full AHRC scholarship (LAHP Studentship supported by RCM).
About Elayce Ismail
Elayce Ismail works in the UK and internationally as a theatremaker, opera director and dramaturg. She was the inaugural RTYDS Associate Director at Northern Stage in 2017/2018. Prior to this she was Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio as the recipient of the JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors, and a Jerwood Assistant Director at the Young Vic.
Direction includes: Omeros (Gate Theatre – adaptation/direction); They Whisper Don’t Gaze at the Stars… (ENO), If Not Now, When? (NT); Nanjing (Royal Court/Shakespeare’s Globe); Under Milk Wood, The War of the Worlds (Northern Stage); Girls (HighTide Festival/Soho Theatre – selected for British Council Edinburgh Showcase); The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Chorus, Spooky Action at a Distance (Gate Theatre); The Lost Ring (Deutsches Theater Berlin); Stay Another Song (Young Vic); When I Am Queen (Almeida).
Recent opera as revival/associate director includes: 4:48 Psychosis (Opéra national du Rhin/Royal Opera House); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier); The Virtues of Things (Royal Opera House).
@elayceismail on Twitter
About Music Theatre Wales
Music Theatre Wales creates new opera and music theatre that is bold and adventurous, that explores what opera can be and how it can reach out to audiences. We work with many of the most acclaimed composers of our time, and we also invite provocation and challenge from composers and writers who are new to this form. Our aim is to ensure that opera and music theatre remain relevant and vibrant contemporary means of expression, with the capacity to touch the heart and open the mind, and giving audiences powerful and memorable experiences. Music Theatre Wales works in association with the London Sinfonietta.
@MTW_tweets on Twitter
About London Sinfonietta
The London Sinfonietta is one of the world’s leading contemporary music ensembles. Formed in 1968, the group’s commitment to making new music has seen it commission 400 works and premiere hundreds more. Its ethos today is to constantly experiment with an ever changing art form, bringing together the best musicians, composers and artists to create excellent, risk-taking work. It’s huge catalogue of recorded work is now being added to with new creative digital projects and online performances aimed at inspiring and involving an ever-wider audience. Resident at Southbank Centre and Artistic Associate at Kings Place, with a busy touring schedule, the London Sinfonietta’s core eighteen Principal Players represent some of the best musicians in the world. The organisation is proud to be in association with Music Theatre Wales.
@Ldn_Sinfonietta on Twitter