Thursday 21 September at 6pm and 8.15pm
The Roberts Institute of Art presents ‘Hey, Maudie’, a new performance commission by Rachel Jones which draws on the operatic form alongside poetry, wide-ranging music and oral traditions.
Rachel Jones. Photo by Eva Herzog
We are at 197 Piccadilly London W1J 9LL between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street, about 200m from Piccadilly Circus.
‘Hey, Maudie’ inaugurates RIA’s Practising Performance programme, which provides artists with unique opportunities to expand their work through performance.
In developing the work, Rachel Jones invited poet Victoria Adukwei Bulley and composer Joseph Howard to collaborate on her concept for a live, opera-based work. Reflecting a collage of perspectives, the libretto, co-authored by Jones and Adukwei Bulley, takes inspiration from Gwendolyn Brooks’s 1953 novel, Maud Martha. ROKSANDA will provide costumes for the performance.
Across four acts, Jones’ opera performance follows the character of Maud Martha (sung by soprano Gweneth Ann Rand) as she converses with a choral ensemble that represents her soul.
The structure references the compositional technique of call- and-response, a musical and cultural tradition with West African roots, which became an intrinsic way for Black women to individually and collectively express themselves.
Supported by: Thaddaeus Ropac