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Guy Harries

Opera and Politics Symposium 2

The second Opera and Politics symposium
at Trinity Laban will examine the connection between anarchy and the singing voice, with presentations by a range of speakers discussing aesthetics, philosophy, education and artistic practice in relation to this theme.

Anarchy in its broadest sense suggests an approach of dissent and subversion countering hegemonic systems and potentially including emergent, participatory and self-organising practices. Anarchic art usually manifests in anti-establishment, DIY cultural practices located in marginal and informal spaces. However, cultural appropriation of anarchic practices by mainstream institutions and the legitimisation of anarchy as a methodological approach to cultural studies may appear to destabilize any subversive manifesto. During this symposium we will be exploring how dissent and subversion can manifest in theatrical and musical practices, explored through the lens of anarchism.

The speakers are:
composer Roger Redgate (Goldsmiths University of London) presenting his opera in progress based on Peter Weiss’s play Marat/Sade;
writer Tessa McWatt (University of East London) on her collaboration with composer Hannah Kendall on the opera The Knife of Dawn;
Louise Jackson (Trinity Laban) discussing participatory paradigms for learning through vocal practice;
Jonathan Owen Clark (Trinity Laban) on emergence and aesthetic negativity; and
Guy Harries (University of East London/Trinity Laban) on punk influences on composition for opera.

The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Eve Katsouraki (UEL

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