Audiences around the UK will hear the music of Tobias Picker this winter and spring with the continuation of Rambert Dance Company’s tour of Awakenings and the English Touring Opera’s crusade ofFantastic Mr. Fox. Awakenings just completed the initial run of its tour with over 30 performances by Rambert. The work attracted universal praise from critics:
[Choreographer Aletta] Collins’s Awakenings, with a heartfelt score by Tobias Picker and admirable design by Miriam Buether is a vivid response to [Dr. Oliver Sacks’] text. We see the sufferers, trapped in frozen poses of catatonia, or released into fierce convulsions. We see their need for freedom, emotional as well as physical, and the piece – dominated by a performance from Jonathan Goddard of searing truth – tugs at our responses.
-Clement Crisp, Financial Times
… challenging and absorbing, potent, poignant and even, at moments, funny. Picker's score, performed live by Rambert's 15-strong orchestra, follows a similar arc, counterposing jagged, stuttering chords with a discursive, melodic freedom which is very persuasive.
-Jenny Gilbert, The Independant
a powerful piece…
-Judith Mackrell, The Guardian
The 2011 tour includes stops in Truro, Edinburgh, Inverness, Northampton, Mold and Brighton.
On February 18 the English Touring Opera kicks off the UK tour of Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox at the Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon, UK. Debuting in a new chamber orchestration for 14 players, Picker’s opera, based on Roald Dahl’s beloved novel, experienced recent success with a production at Opera Holland Park in the summer of 2010, in a new version for an ensemble of seven players:
A spirited young cast led by Grant Doyle and Olivia Ray as Mr. and Mrs. Fox held its young audience captive. Four Botticellian wood sprites, who could also sing divinely, led the promenade performance from tree to tree. It was expertly done and deserves a life beyond west London. OHP has high hopes that, with festivals such as Latitude showing interest, it will.
-Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian
A treat for connoisseurs… Donald Sturrock’s blithe libretto and Mr. Picker’s bright, accessible music give the creature a kind of roguish charm. The opera owes its zestful appeal to Mr. Picker’s score.
-Geoffrey Smith, Country Life
Find out the exact dates and locations for all productions of Tobias Picker’s Awakenings and Fantastic Mr. Fox by visiting our online performance calendar at www.eamdllc.com.
Learn more on the music of Tobias Picker at www.schott-music.com and www.tobiaspicker.com.
English Touring Opera
Rambert Dance Company
Fantastic Mr. Fox (1998, arr. 2010)
opera in three acts
Libretto by Donald Sturrock, after the novel by Roald Dahl
chamber orchestra version (arr. Samuel Bill) performed at ETO:
Ensemble version (arr. Francesco Cilluffo) performed at Opera Holland Park: