A CERTAIN SENSE OF ORDER

(2017) for two female voices, three reed organs, piano and percussion – 50 Minutes

Work Description

A certain sense of order Image: © Claire Shovelton

Supported by: Rough for Opera
Category: Opera, Works for 2-6 Players, Vocal
Availability: Enquire
Performances:
Work in Progress Showing:
7 March 2017 at the Cockpit Theatre, London, as part of Rough for Opera: A Night of New Opera. (20 minute version)Rosie Middleton, mezzo-soprano
Rebecca Cuddy, mezzo-soprano
Catherine Kontz, reed organs
Naomi Woo, piano, reed organs

Premiere performances: 10 and 11 August 2017 at Tête-à-tête Opera Festival, London with with Rosie Middleton, Rebecca Cuddy and Dr Victoria Van Hyning (academic lecture on Anne Sexton)

Other performances:

28 April 2018 at Pembroke College Chapel, Oxford with Rosie Middleton, Sarah Parkin and Dr Victoria Van Hyning (academic lecture on Anne Sexton)
29 April 2018 at Judith E Wilson Drama Studio, Cambridge with Rosie Middleton, Sarah Parkin with CIPN – Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network
2nd May 2018 at Birkbeck School of Arts, London with Rosie Middleton, Sarah Parkin and contributions from Leah Sidi and Christian Coppa.

16th May 2018 Polyphonic Poetry Festival, Cambridge with Rosie Middleton, Sarah Parkin (short version)

27th October 2018 Festival of Ideas, Cambridge with Rosie Middleton, Sarah Parkin (long version)

25/26 April 2019 Théâtre du Centaure, Luxembourg with Rosie Middleton, Sarah Parkin (long version)

 

Notes

A new work by Catherine Kontz, Naomi Woo and Sasha Amaya.

Sexton: I think the tapes are very … I listen to them and it’s a different thing. In the first place I really hear you. Much more than I hear you here. Then again I hear me too, as much as I can bear to. Oh, I keep looking for some magical thing. If there was just some …

A Certain Sense of Order is a collaboratively-devised work for two female singers exploring the poetry of Anne Sexton. We take our inspiration from the strong relationship between Sexton’s poetic and therapeutic practice, yet move beyond literal representation to explore themes from Sexton’s life and work through the text of a single poem, “For John, Who Begs Me Not to Inquire Further”. While reciting excerpts of the poem, the singers enact activities reminiscent of a variety of practices from Sexton’s life: writing at a typewriter, recording speech, listening to therapy tapes, among others. Additionally, the singers move between different kinds of interactions, taking on roles from both the home and the therapy room. Rather than a literal or biographical representation of the poet or her work, the piece is better understood as a performed interpretation of a poem. While recalling many aspects of the poet’s life, it also leaves much of the interpretation and connections up to the viewer.