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Deloitte Ignite - three day festival of art at the Royal Opera House
Deloitte Ignite returns for its second year with a contemporary arts festival curated not by a single artist but by an entire magazine.
By: Royal Opera House
Time Out will curate the Deloitte-sponsored festival filling the Royal Opera House with gigs, video art, exuberant fashion, site-specific theatre, comedy, cabaret, dance, film and surprise events. Featuring specially commissioned work from artist Kathleen Herbert, theatre company Dreamthinkspeak, interactive work from choreographic and dance artists Angela Woodhouse and Ben Wright, Cabaret performers Jonny Woo and Bourgeois & Maurice, with surprise events from theatre makers Chris Goode, Will Tuckett and Adrian Lee plus guest appearances from comedians and new magic rising stars including Chris Cox. These are just a few of the artists in a programme that will unfold throughout the summer.
The Royal Opera House has invited Time Out and its Editors to explore the traditions and heritage of the building and its art forms and create a festival of work that explodes preconceptions and delivers an alternative view of opera and ballet.
Rachel Halliburton, Deputy Editor of Time Out says: ‘Critics are a despised breed. Deflators of artistic dreams, able - on occasion - to kill a production or exhibition overnight, we are seen by some as the parasites of the art world. But there's another argument that says that critics nurture rather than murder talent - and that by cutting down bad art we allow truly good art to flourish. This is Time Out's chance to prove it.’
Deborah Bull, Royal Opera House Creative Director says: ‘Since its very first edition in 1968, Time Out has played a vital role in shaping the artistic experience of Londoners with its sharp-eyed recommendations and its previews and reviews of performances and events which should, on no account, be missed. So it seemed entirely logical to invite Time Out to extend their role as ‘recommender of choice’ by inviting them to curate Deloitte Ignite 09. I’m delighted and intrigued by the programme they have brought together and by the theme they have chosen. Critics, after all, hold up a mirror to art, allowing the creative artist to see their work through other people’s eyes and audiences to reflect on art they may never actually get to see for themselves.’
Heather Hancock, head of innovation and brand at Deloitte, commented: ‘Innovation is key to our business success, and has an instrumental role in this year's festival with a unique role reversal. The critic becomes the creative. The choice of Time Out as curator of Deloitte Ignite heralds the launch of a truly original event. The innovative collaboration between the organisations involved and some inspirational twists on classic themes from the artists and performers promise to challenge the preconceptions of the audience. The festival has captured the imagination within our firm to the extent that over 1,700 of our people have registered to be part of a Deloitte Ignite network and over 50 worked alongside Royal Opera House staff as volunteers at the festival itself last year. We look forward to even greater participation this year.’
Deloitte Ignite and the Artists
The Deloitte Ignite 09 line-up has been curated by Deputy Editor Rachel Halliburton, Comedy Editor Tim Arthur, Art Editor Ossian Ward, Dance Editor Lyndsey Winship, Film Editor Dave Calhoun, Rock Folk & Jazz Editor Eddy Lawrence, Classical & Opera Editor Jonathan Lennie, Theatre Editor Caroline McGinn and Cabaret Editor Simone Baird.
There will be three big evening events taking place on 4, 5, 6 September and a host of daytime performances and experiences.
Friday 4 September - LYING DOWN CONCERT
Despite the fact that Britain is constantly producing brilliant young classical artists, in many circles classical music is so unpopular, it's almost seen as unnatural to like it. The atmosphere of the classical music concert especially puts off a lot of young people, so here the aim is to subvert the formality of listening to classical music in public by creating an atmosphere that puts everyone at their ease. Audience members will therefore be invited to lie down in the Paul Hamlyn Hall to listen to the performers. Performing will be St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir, who in recent years have established itself as one of the major forces in British church music, Radio 3's New Generation Artists including violinist Tai Murray and pianist Ashley Wass and ex Jette Parker Young Artists Kishani Jayasinghe and Catriona Beveridge.
Saturday 5 September - GIG NIGHT
The bands booked for the gig night are a unique addition to the already varied list of artists who have performed at the Royal Opera House. This will be a concert unlike any other witnessed at the Royal Opera House. To find out what the line-up is register for updates at www.roh.org.uk/
Sunday 6 September – JONNY WOO’S BALLO IN MASCARA
Sunday’s grand finale is inspired by the predominance of cross-dressing within opera. London’s Jonny Woo has long featured in the Gay and Cabaret pages of Time Out and remains one of London’s most important alternative performers. Since his legendary Radio Egypt nights at the George & Dragon boozer in Hackney back in 2003 and subsequent Tranny Talent try-out nights, Woo has helped launch the performance careers of dozens. In the last two years he has sold out the Soho Theatre, toured the East End with his Gay Bingo, appeared at the ICA and most recently at Selfridges. Such is the cross-over appeal of cross-dressing. For Deloitte Ignite he is going to host a transvestite fashion show, directly inspired by characters from opera, and this will lead into a vogue ball (inspired by the NYC scene in the early ’90s), where people will be invited to don elaborate costumes and vogue the final night away.
BOURGEOIS AND MAURICE
Since they debuted in July 2007, Time Out has championed this caustic neo-cabaret duo as they've lit up London's late night underground performance scene. Bourgeois & Maurice sharpened their teeth and their talents with residencies at CellarDoor, Bistrotheque, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Soho Theatre. With Georgeois Bourgeois on vocals and Maurice Maurice on piano and backing vocals, they're a modern-day Kiki & Herb spawned in the backstreets of Hoxton, with original, often comedic, multi-media material covering pharmaceutical drugs, the perils of art school and, the subject closest to their heart, celebrity. Their outfits and numerous costume changes are every bit as important to them as their songs, a riot of charity shop sparkly tat, '80s power dressing, eyelashes that need their own scaffolding and glossy red lipstick. The duo will play the Crush Room on the night of the Vogue Ball.
More artists and events will unfold throughout the summer. To keep fully informed register at www.roh.org.uk/
For more information and images:
Simon Magill / Sara Parsons / Press Office, Royal Opera House
Tel: 020 7212 9230 / 9504
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Royal Opera House is home to The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and ROH2 in London's Cevent Garden. The magnificent Royal Opera House has a fascinating history and is actually the third theatre built on the Covent Garden site. Both the previous theatres were destroyed by fire, a serious hazard in the era before electricity.