ENO presents John Cage’s Musicircus
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Musicircus Artistic Director: Stephen Montague
Musicircus Visual Director: Alex Julyan
Celebrating John Cage’s centennial year, and his innovation and philosophy, ENO is the first opera company to create, produce and present the composer’s ‘omnium gatherum’ piece. This exciting free event will take place as part of Music Nation, an official countdown event to the London Festival 2012.
In a promenade experience of spectacular and extraordinary performances throughout the London Coliseum, ENO's Musicircus will feature artists including Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and composer Michael Finnissy alongside ENO Music Director Edward Gardner, the ENO Community Choir, ENO Opera Works singers, and an intriguing collective of professional and amateur talents.
ENO's Musicircus is curated by award winning Proms-commissioned composer Stephen Montague. Montague worked with Cage in Europe for fifteen years, touring with him and premiering several of Cage's works. Visual artist Alex Julyan is Montague's long-term collaborator whose prior projects have included work with Punchdrunk and The Wellcome Trust.
Date: Saturday 3 March 2012
Venue: London Coliseum front of house areas
Doors & Bars: 1.15pm
Start Time: 1.40pm prompt
Second entry time ticket holders: 2.40pm (to join the ongoing performance, there is no break or interval)
This event does not take place in the auditorium and requires the audience to walk and stand.
THIS EVENT HAS NOW SOLD OUT
Our aim is to make this event accessible to all – please contact the Box Office for details.
Photography and filming will be taking place during this event.
What is a Musicircus?
Hailed as the most influential American composer of the 20th century, and best known for his iconic silent composition 4”33”, John Cage first staged Musicircus in 1967. Cage’s idea for the composition was to invite a wide range of musicians and other artists who would perform different works simultaneously to create a unique, exciting and seemingly anarchic sound. The performers and audience who witnessed this ‘happening’ experienced the future of music as envisaged by Cage.
Who is involved?
The event is a ‘pan arts’ event in that a wide variety of musicians, artists, actors, dancers, academics, circus acrobats, and other performers are invited to participate. The event is about inclusivity. A wide range of musical styles, performance genres, levels of experience and ensemble sizes are represented.
The overall event may sound random, but is actually precisely controlled by stop/start timing charts. The event begins and ends with space shuttle precision. The audience wanders throughout the space enjoying the unique collision of events. The performers are stationary in assigned locations.
Each performer/group prepares a fixed ‘set’ of music/works/talks/events to perform. The repertoire can be either “relevant” to John Cage (e.g. his works, interests, etc., or works by his associates- Feldman, Wolff, etc.), or ‘irrelevant’ (e.g. standard classical repertoire, folk, opera, pop, jazz, etc.). Performers choose repertoire that falls into either category or a combination of both.
How does the Musicircus work?
The event lasts for a set period of time (for example 2 hours), but it is fractured by individual timing charts derived from chance operations (e.g. throwing dice, I Ching, etc.). The works (actions, etc.) in each ‘set’ may be repeated in any order when the set is exhausted.
Music Nation is a nationwide weekend of live music events across the UK on 3 & 4 March 2012. Devised and led by the BBC the weekend is the first nationwide countdown event to the London 2012 Festival. From Cornwall to the Shetland Isles and Belfast to Birmingham, Music Nation is an unprecedented collaboration of the UK’s orchestral and music-making communities, built primarily around classical music, but taking in jazz, folk and world music.
Music Nation is a partnership with Arts Council England, the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), British Association of Concert Halls (BACH), Orchestras Live, Making Music, Conservatoires UK and Locog to celebrate the richness, diversity and excellence of Britain’s musical life. BBC Radio 3, Music Nation’s principal media partner, will broadcast live content throughout the weekend, with additional programming on BBC Radio1, 1Xtra, BBC Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and BBC local radio.
For further details on all the events visit bbc.co.uk/musicnation
Photo credit: Rex Rystedt, 1984
Buy a £20 unallocated seat in advance and we’ll guarantee you a seat worth £25 or more on the night – you could even end up in the stalls or dress circle! Bookable online only – you’ll get a confirmation of your payment immediately, and three days before the performance we’ll email you your actual seat number.
Available for all ENO shows from September and selected shows before. (Sorry – Secret Seat is not available for guest company productions)
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