Opera Review: Tansy Davies’s Between Worlds (ENO)

Between Worlds reviewOpera has never been my strong suit. That is not to say I don’t like it but, woefully, I am a) not a singer and b) of my generation; my attention span is average-to-poor and my untrained brain wanders while one teeny tiny point is laboured in a seven minute aria. Imagine my relief when I found out that Tansy Davies’s first opera, Between Worlds, was only an hour and a half long. I could cope with that.

If opera is what I don’t know, what I do know is a decent amount about Tansy Davies. Davies’s boundary-blurring art music with references to Prince and Stevie Wonder formed a chapter of my undergraduate dissertation, so I was excited to hear that she had composed her first opera. What I wasn’t so excited about, though, was the subject: 9/11. For Between Worlds, Davies and librettist Nick Drake worked together closely to plan the story they wanted to tell, at one point in Davies’s house in France drawing a plan on 25 feet of wallpaper. The duo wove the drama and created the characters using the messages sent on September 11th released by WikiLeaks.

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‘Hopefully it’s not too exclusively female’: Radio 3’s Five Under 35 Women Composers series

Feminism is fashionable in 2015, possibly the most fashionable it’s ever been. International Women’s Day on 8th March, therefore, presented a great opportunity for any and every brand and platform to show how they aligned with gender equality issues. For BBC Radio 3, this meant the ‘Five Under 35’ series, a celebration of five women composers aged thirty-five and under, showcased in the daily Composer of the Week show.

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