22 and 24 April 2015
19.30–21.30, IMAX Theatre
Ensemble BPM presents Three Tales, a video opera exploring three momentous scientific events from the twentieth century that examines our deepening relationship with technology; the crash of the Hindenburg zeppelin in 1937, nuclear bomb tests on Bikini Atoll in 1946–1958, and the cloning of Dolly the Sheep in 1996.
It features live orchestra and singers, sampled audio, re-processed historical film and interviews with prescient cultural thinkers to create an immersive piece of multimedia that examines technology’s growing dominance in society.
It was created by Grammy Award-winning composer Steve Reich – whose work has influenced countless artists and composers including John Adams, Brian Eno and Sufjan Stevens – and pioneering video artist Beryl Korot.
Ensemble BPM will be joined in performance by Synergy Vocals, the world-renowned vocal collective selected by Steve Reich to premiere the work in 2002, led by former Swingle Singer Micaela Haslam.
Ensemble BPM is only the second group to stage Three Tales since the work’s 2002 premiere. It's showing at the Science Museum’s IMAX Theatre for two nights only and also features a Q&A: composer Sasha Siem is the speaker on 22 April, musicologist John Pymm (Chair of the Society for Minimalist Music) on the 24 April.
'A concentrated and vivid performance. A bold and impressive achievement indeed.'
(The Stage on Ensemble BPM's production at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2010)
The production is conducted by Artistic Director Nick Sutcliffe, directed by Matthew Eberhardt and produced by Amanda Carrick. It is supported by the Science Museum, Arts Council England and The Hinrichsen Foundation.
The work is presented in association with a conference at the Institute of Historical Research entitled Being Modern: Science and Culture in the Early Twentieth Century, led by Dr Robert Bud, Keeper of Science and Medicine at the Science Museum. Performances take place on 22 and 24 April 2015 – the former date marking the centenary of the first use of chemical weapons in warfare.
Music: Steve Reich & Video: Beryl Korot
Singers: Synergy Vocals
Instrumentalists: Nathan Mercieca – piano, Katherine Tinker – piano, Dave Burgoyne – percussion,
Oli Butterworth – percussion, Oliver Lowe – vibraphone, Jude Carlton – vibraphone, Ligeti Quartet (Patrick Dawkins – violin, Phillip Granell – violin, Richard Jones – viola, Valerie Welbanks - cello)
Artistic & Musical Director: Nick Sutcliffe
Stage Director: Matthew Eberhardt
Producer: Amanda Carrick
Designer: Gill Denny
Production Manager: Tammy Rose
Founded in 2010, Ensemble BPM specialises in the creation of contemporary musical multimedia, embracing the inseparability of musical and theatrical thought. Collaborating with both emerging and established artists, we create vivid, accessible and immersive works of art that reflect the pace and flux of modern cultural life. Our work aims to illuminate the sights and sounds of an increasingly complex world. ensemblebpm.com
Three Tales is supported by the Arts Council England, AHRC and The Hinrichsen Foundation.