Tête à Tête Opera Festival is COOL, CHEAP & COMMON

Tête à Tête Opera Festival is COOL, CHEAP & COMMON

Opera has a reputation for being expensive and long, and much as we at To Do List like the idea of snooting about competing for the best and most expensive seats like the brothers in TV show Frasier, sometimes the concentration span and the budget just won’t stretch that far.

The Tête à Tête Opera Festival at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith solves both these problems, with tickets at only £6 per performance – FREE if you come dressed as a Princess or a Frog. Perhaps if you go as a Frog Princess they will pay you.

Read the full programme here

Running from 2nd-19th August, there are also short free events in the foyer, as well as The Lite Bites series of new work. These super-short operas are performed at public locations in Hammersmith and Fulham. Subjects include love in cyberspace, the problems of speed dating when one protagonist is possessed by the devil, and “a charming and heart-warming tale of the unmitigated hatred that can develop between two people living next door to one another.”

The studio-based operas also promise to be intriguing, with plots ranging from women workers who won the first minimum wage in “The Chainmakers’ Strike”, to a chicken farmer flummoxed by the continued survival of one of his decapitated flock in “Mike the Headless Chicken”, described as a “Kentucky Fried Live Action Dada Cartoon opera”. There’s “Unleashed”, an anti-opera about maleness and what gay men think about sex. “A Quiet Life” is a multi-sensory opera about a real-life deaf astronomer, suitable for those with or without hearing. There’s even “The Francis Bacon Opera”, based on a South Bank Show interview between Melvin Bragg and Francis Bacon. Also don’t miss the Anaïs Nin multimedia sinfest.

There’s plenty more, and nothing that doesn’t look interesting, informative and offbeat. If you read old opera plots this isn’t really surprising – you can’t beat a classic form for being able to encompass any kind of story/theme you like and make it matter. Go see!

All the details of the festival are here