The Art of Venus
a new chamber opera
RADA Studio Theatre Thursday 10 August 2017 at 21:20
as part of the Tête à Tête Opera Festival 2017
The Art of Venus
The global search has begun for the first humans to set foot on Mars and make it their home. In 2032, as the spacecraft hurtles through space, humanity holds its breath… can the planet be colonised? But will Venus take it lying down? A short, post-baroque opera about the power of the gods - and a myth waiting to happen.
Contains adult themes
Venus Kate Symonds-Joy (mezzo-soprano)
Mars Samuel Oram (baritone)
Soprano Earthling Helen Bailey
Tenor Earthling Daniel Joy
Bass Earthling Christopher Foster
Music Edward Lambert
Text Max Waller
Conductor Olivia Clarke
Director Rebecca Meltzer
Accordion Bartosz Glowacki
Marimba Matthew Farthing
Violin Maria Fiore Mazzarini
Cello Tom Isaac
The Music Troupe returns to the Tete à Tete Festival for the third time with another short opera by Edward Lambert whose restless sound world takes its inspiration from the virtuosity of baroque music: contemporary music with a familiar twist.
Mars & Venus
Mars, the all-powerful Roman warrior-god, lover of Venus, the embodiment of love and sexuality: what's happening to these celebs in the 21st century?
Art as pornography?
In 1914, a prominent suffragette took a meat cleaver to the painting in the National Gallery known as the Rokeby Venus and repeatedly slashed it. Contemporary reports describe the “cruel” wounds inflicted on it. Was this a feminist act?
Human Settlement on Mars
"Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Several unmanned missions will be completed, establishing a habitable settlement before carefully selected and trained crews will depart to Mars. Mars One is a global initiative whose goal is to make this everyone’s mission to Mars, including yours. If we all work together, we can do this. We’re going to Mars. Come along!" mars-one.com
The Pale Blue Dot
Carl Sagan pointed out that on that dot "every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives". The Overview Effect is a cognitive shift experienced by astronauts upon understanding the Earth to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, "hanging in the void". But feelings of euphoria can also lead to errors of judgment...
Max Waller, the librettist, who has a background in writing film scripts, introduces us to astronauts on the planned one-way mission to Mars. mars-one.com An interesting thought, because leaving Earth for good would surely feel like dying, yet the idea, of course, is to live on the planet and forge some kind of existence there. In parallel to this adventure, there’s Mars, the Roman god, abandoned for two millennia but with a growing sense that humans are returning to him. And then comes Venus: beautiful still, but much wiser now. Her character was inspired by the story of Mary Richardson, the suffragette, who in 1914 slashed the Rokeby Venus in the National Gallery with a meat cleaver. As the spacecraft nears Mars’ orbit, Venus seizes the moment to wreak revenge not just on the invaders but on the aspirations of all mankind. After all, her private parts have been put on display in every art gallery in the world. Thus, the interaction between humans, gods and their habitats become the subject of a bizarre and perverse satire.