On Sunday 21st at 5pm as a postlude to the Poetry Weekend we shall have TWIN SPIRITS (1h30mins)
Twin Spirits is a unique and intimate, live theatrical performance by a chamber ensemble of actors, singers and musicians, portraying the deep and ultimately tragic love between the composer Robert Schumann and his pianist wife Clara Wieck. In this intensely moving performance of words, song and music, the Schumanns’ long separation, so formative an influence on their lives, is reflected in the division of the ensemble into male and female groups. Robert's letters to Clara are read by Sting and his songs sung by Simon Keenlyside, with accompaniments and instrumental music played by Iain Burnside and Sergej Krylov. Clara's letters to Robert are read by Trudie Styler and her songs sung by Rebecca Evans, with accompaniments and instrumental music played by Natalie Clein and Natasha Paremski. The narrator, Derek Jacobi, links together the letters and lyrics to complete the essential outline of the story. Conceived and directed by John Caird, Twin Spirits was first performed in June 2005 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London and has since been experienced only at private performances for charity by small audiences of all ages and interests, leaving them deeply touched and inspired.
In one sense it's a static production, with everyone seated throughout, but it's actually quite engrossing - perfectly paced and beautifully filmed. It's impossible not to emerge with both a true empathy for the Schumanns’ and a renewed or awakened interest in their music. The acting stays just the right side of luvviness, with Sting and Styler delivering strong, subtly believable performances. They're supported by beautifully executed interludes from a top line-up of soloists. This is tender, moving, well put together, and supplemented by an enlightening bonus DVD." (Classic fM)
"John Caird's Twin Spirits, filmed live at the Royal Opera House, is beautifully constructed and performed with extraordinary fervour… Sting and Trudie Styler's own marriage undoubtedly informs their profoundly affecting portrayal of the Schumanns’… Musical choices are mostly Schumann, a bit of Clara and some evocative Mozart and Chopin... often in special arrangements.
‘’This really is a new performance artform.
Viewed under the right conditions (with a large enough screen - preferably a projector in a fully light controlled environment) and with a good sound system, this experience really is "better than being there". For we are treated to a visual feast of cast and musicians which you could not have enjoyed as one of the happy few who actually witnessed this event at Covent Garden. Add to that the superlative, totally believable sound - plus the remarkable video editing, and you have a deeply emotional experience that combines words, music and song in a way that is quite unique.
An absolute must. To be savoured again and again...’’ Amazon.co.uk reviewer
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