“For first you write a sentence,
And then you chop it small;
Then mix the bits and sort them out
Just as they chance to fall:
The order of the phrases makes
No difference at all.”
- Lewis Carroll/Ergo Phizmiz, Billiards
Mozart’s love of billiards and Raymond Scott’s early developments in random electronic sound are the starting points for an overloaded pinball mash-up of media and musical styles. Video animation, puppetry, live singing, recorded tracks of classical and electronic music combine to create an exhilarating sensory event that blurs the boundaries between opera and performance art.
Mozart and Raymond Scott (the godfather of electronic music) meet through a torn hole in the universe. They exchange thoughts (and bodily fluids) on random chance in the creation of music with the help of Georges Méliès, Lewis Carroll, John Cage and JS Bach – all adjudicated by an austere snooker referee. Billiards explores the theme of fabrication by creating a work that is both a construct of various pre-existing and disparate elements as well as questioning authenticity in authorship.
Composer: Ergo Phizmiz
Director: Frederic Wake-Walker
The performance will be followed by a post-show talk featuring Ergo Phizmiz, Frederic Wake-Walker and Dr Kélina Gotman, exploring ideas raised by the piece of authorship and the role of the composer in opera.
Mahogany Opera Group is an Artistic Company in Residence at King’s College London. The award-winning company creates new opera in new ways, drawing on a range of cultural influences, art forms and technologies, to stretch the boundaries of what opera can be and who it is for. The company has collaborated with composers George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Jonathan Dove, Olga Neuwirth and Julian Phillips, as well as with exciting young composers including Emily Hall, Jamie Man, Luke Bedford and Laurence Osborn. Recent highlights include the children’s opera Brundibár which involved children around the country, a British-Nordic collaboration Folie à Deux by Emily Hall and the world’s first mindfulness opera, Lost in Thought, conceived with composer Rolf Hind. www.mahoganyoperagroup.co.uk