Friday, 23 March 2012

Project Description

The Project

To celebrate the 400 year anniversary of the discovery of the Andromeda Galaxy by Simon Marius, Martin Butler and Ensemble L'Aura Rilucente are planning to create a new work based upon extracts from libretto and music of the popuar baroque opera, "Persée" by the 17th century composer, Jean Baptisite Lully, which tells the story of Andromeda and Perseus.

Working with a live ensemble of five baroque musicians, (two baroque violins, baroque cello, harpsichord, and baroque harp) and four singers (soprano, mezzo-soprano, haute – tenor and tenor ), Butler will tell the story of Perseus and Andromeda using the form of shadow play. They will combine live dancers/performers with objects and puppets, to create a visually strong and easily accessible form of performance for both children and adults to enjoy and discover.

 By seperating on stage the musicians and the performers, Martin Butler is inspired by the English theatre tradition of the dumbshow (15th to 17th centuries), which is a masque-like interlude of silent pantomime/actions usually with allegorical content. Dumbshows were a moving silent spectacle, accompanied by music.
The story of Perseus and Andromeda will be divided between a narrator and the shadow play accompanied by the singers. They explain the world, which the audience is going to enter. The world of the Baroque, the world of myths, where nymphs and sea monsters, gods and heroes exist. The arias will be song in the original French of Quinault, while the narrator will recite in the local language of the performance, accompanied by instrumental interludes. 

The original score of Lully will be abbreviated to a 75 minute performance. 

Perseus with the head of Medusa

stage construction behind

stage construction behind

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