Dance Students Selected for Opera Epic
A group of exceptional Walsall College Dance students have been selected by the Birmingham Opera Company to perform in the world premiere of ‘Wednesday from Light’, as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
‘Wednesday from Light’ is the final opera from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s monumental opera cycle, ‘Light’ and is on at the Argyle Works in Birmingham from Wednesday 22nd – Saturday 25th August. This will be the first time that all six parts of this opera, featuring two choirs, flying solo instrumentalists, live electronic and acoustics music and a string quartet streamed live from four flying helicopters, will be fully staged.
Stockhausen is recognised worldwide as one of the most important composers of the twentieth century. He created innovative musical composition, which attracted new audiences to opera and was the first significant composer to put electronic music on the map.
Along with a cast of over 150 performers, the students, Aaron Watkinson, Mario Simek, Charlotte Harper and Nola Mardenborough are currently undergoing intense rehearsals for the epic production, which lasts approximately five hours.
The students were auditioned for the parts by Ron Howell, Choreographer and Movement Director at the Birmingham Opera Company, during a series of workshops that were delivered at the College. He said: “The students showed immense creativity and technical ability in their movement during the sessions, and I am delighted to have them on board for the show.”
Dance Lecturer, Michelle Stokes commented: “Our students are showing their dedication and professional attitudes in committing their own time over the summer to meet the demanding rehearsal schedule. We are all very proud of them and look forward to seeing them on stage.”
Student, Mario Simek said: “Working with a cast of professional performers is very inspiring and just confirms my desire to make it as a professional dancer. It’s also incredible to be involved in such a huge production in celebration of the London Olympics, which probably won’t happen again in the UK in my lifetime.”
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. The four-year project was started in 2008, and designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture.
Funded by Arts Council England (ACE), London 2012 Festival and Birmingham City Council, ‘Wednesday from Light’ will be one of the finale events and a highlight of the Cultural Olympiad. Tickets for the highly anticipated show sold out within hours of being released in late April.