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After the Fall by Helgi R. Ingvarsson and Rebecca Hurst premiered at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, Camden in May 2017.
Inspired by real-life incidents featured in Musicophilia by the renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, After the Fall is a brand new opera that explores the relationship between a doctor and his patient.
The successful career of opera singer Eva Ende has been cut short by an accident, and the resulting brain injury has caused her to lose the ability to comprehend music. The Doctor is also experiencing his own loss of musical sense following the death of his mother. Frozen by grief he is cut off from his emotions, unable to empathise with the world, and unable to ‘hear’ music. While the Doctor’s condition has a chance of a cure, the Singer´s own musical ability might never be repaired…
The design for After the Fall used the analogy of a 'black box space' to connect the goings-on in the brain with the theatre. Rebecca Hurst's philosophical libretto deliberately blurs the distinction between imagination and reality, and accordingly the action unfolded in a Descartian 'theatre of the mind', and played with ever-shifting perspective - the Singer's, the Doctor's and that of the audience. A cloud of neon sticky-notes represented thoughts, their fragmentation, and the Doctor's struggle for clarity; microphones, a faulty record-player and the live instrumental ensemble literally represented a recurring 'recording session' motif, and metaphorically suggested sense organs and malfunction.
The Singer: Rannveig Káradóttir; The Doctor: Nicholas Morton. Members of ALDA Orchestra under the direction of the composer.
Design and stage direction by Alisdair Kitchen.