We are Mahogany Opera Group, an award-winning opera company based in London. We need your help to make our first album. Let us tell you a bit about it.
The idea for Folie à Deux came out of a conversation Emily Hall had with psychiatrist Dr Lisa Conlan about a rare psychotic syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another, known as Folie à Deux. Emily thought it was a great concept for an opera and teamed up with Icelandic wordsmith Sjón to write one.
The result is six exquisite songs, woven together for soprano (Sofia Jernberg), tenor (Allan Clayton), harp (Ruth Wall) and a specially created electro-magnetic harp. The project is unique in that it has been conceived as both a concept album and a piece of theatre. The album will be released before the first staged performance, giving the audience the chance to know the music before they come along.
Folie à Deux will have its world première at Borealis Festival, Bergen in partnership with Bergen National Opera on 11 March 2015. There will be a special preview concert of the music at Spitalfields Music Winter Festival in London on 16 December 2014.
Where his heart stands still while mine beats faster"
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT FOLIE À DEUX..?
Emily Hall and Sjón are a brilliant new partnership. Emily Hall is an award winning British composer and Sjón is lauded in his home country of Iceland. His novel The Blue Fox won the Nordic Council Literary Prize (the equivalent of the Man Booker) and his work has been translated into over twenty-five languages. He also wrote songs for Björk’s musical project Biophilia. Sofia Jernberg has an international reputation as a jazz singer/voice-artist and improviser – this really is opera as you have never heard (or seen) it before.
An electro-magnetic harp – a new instrument specially designed and built for the project by David Sheppard from Sound Intermedia will be a major feature of the sound world. This has been engineered by blowing apart and drilling a real wooden harp, adding transducers, magnets and all sorts of wizardry to create amazing frequencies.
The stage show will involve an innovative lighting technique, which uses a projector as the main source of light and responds to the movement of the performers.
We want as many people as possible to hear this incredible piece and need your help to release Folie à Deux as a standalone concept album in February 2015. The first one in our 17 year history of touring contemporary opera.
It will cost £15,000 to record Folie à Deux as a concept album and we are short of the final £3,000. Any money that we are able to raise beyond this will go into our ‘New Fund’, helping us to commission more young composers.
WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT THESE ARTISTS...
Frederic Wake-Walker is a young director who is affecting real change in the world of opera, drawing on different genres to create work that is vital and exciting. Each artist that he has picked for this project brings something new to the soundscape of opera. Emily's folk-pop infused music is direct and ethereal; Sofia's voice is mesmerising; Sjón's lyrics are gripping and evocative.
Mahogany Opera Group is a non-profit touring opera company and one of the UK’s leading commissioners of opera. Recent shows have included collaborations with established composers George Benjamin, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Olga Neuwirth, Jonathan Dove and HK Gruber, as well as some of the finest composers from younger generations, for example Elena Langer, Luke Bedford and Edward Rushton.
Risks and challenges
There’s not much that can go wrong here. The score and libretto have been written and we have started recording the material but without your support we will not be able to finish the amazing work that the creative team and performers have started! We still need to raise funds for further studio time, the mastering, editing and final stages of putting the album together. In short everything is in place to set Folie à Deux into the wider world. We just need you!
Thank you so much for your support. We can only make the album with your help.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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