26.07.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

Andrew McDonnell to create live improvised opera magic with 11 vocalists

Global cultures will collide in this one-off Royal Opera House event, which will celebrate the diversity of the human voice by allowing Andy McDonnell to do some crazy stuff to it.

In a one-day event entitled Voices Across The World, split across the afternoon and evening, the Royal Opera House will be hosting a string of performances on 31st July to celebrate the range of the human voice.

Following an afternoon of performances from broadly diverse singers from across the world, the day will culminate in an electronic opera created by Andrew McDonnell, featuring eleven vastly different singers. Vocalists including Christian Zehender, Erika Stucky and Lore Lixenberg will be joining the classically trained electronic musician and allowing him to sample, loop and distort their voices into something symphonic.

The project is reminiscent of Orlando Gough’s opera for one voice, A Ring A Lamp A Thing, which McDonnell operated the technology for last year, creating an operatic boom of sound from one woman’s quiet singing (that one woman being Melanie Pappenheim ). This project led to McDonnell working with Scott Walker on last month’s Cocteau Voices, his ground-breaking new score. McDonnell is now returning to his original concept, of small sounds being manipulated into an entire musical masterpiece, but clearly on a much larger scale.

Featuring singers of all styles, including yodellers and operatic singers, the afternoon showcase on the 31st July will span Gaelic to Sri Lankan music. Taking place from 2 – 6.30pm, the afternoon event will also include an exclusive showing of the film Turbulent by artist Shirin Neshat, and a chance to try Extreme Karaoke. Andrew McDonnell’s experimental opera will be performed from 7pm.

This event will take place at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House on 31st July 2011. To find out more and book tickets, go here .

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