PROJECTS ABOUT CONTACT NEWS
CROSSING THE SEA
  • CROSSING THE SEA
    EDUCATION PROJECT EXPLORING THE RELEVANCE OF CONTEMPORARY OPERA TO 21ST CENTURY INNER CITY YOUNG PEOPLE. One woman opera by Deirdre Gribbin. Premiered at Wilton’s Music Hall. (2008) Crossing the Sea tells the story of a graceful older Chinese woman who yearns for the return of her lover, a soldier who has been lost to war. He left her for battle when she was a young woman and she never sees him again. It is inspired by 7th century Chinese Tang poetry and focuses on a single female character-the one left behind- who embodies a story common to women everywhere and in every war. But there is an inevitable connection to the contemporary world where battles are fought in a different way but the reality of loss of a loved one bears the same destruction.
  • GOALS & OBJECTIVES
    VBMT at Wilton’s Music Hall worked with students from East London schools who explored the nature of what opera is in the 21st century. The central character of the opera embodies the human spirit. The story reveals the depth of her love, though she knows their fate is sealed. Her lover is lost to her forever, a victim of the pull of adventure and the illusory chance for heroism. She tells her story and he is present through her sharing his letters. She sings about the moon, he writes about the same moon but they are lovers separated by the distance the sea creates between them. Participants discussed and created dramatic music narratives exploring how the text from ‘Crossing the Sea’ could be contemporized representing any war at any time. Composer Deirdre Gribbin led discussions and demonstrations about how music can give the text greater depth and meaning. The team discussed how character could be developed through music and how the text can illustrate the many sides to the central protagonist as she moves from moments of quiet contemplation, reflection, vulnerability to anguish and animated recollections.
  • OUTCOMES
    Participants worked closely with the team to create a song cycle using the simplicity of the ancient Tang poetry to inspire song lyrics that commented on contemporary world conflict situations. They focused on the impact and destructive nature that conflict has on societies and communities. We listened to the songs and discussed their meaning. We created dramatic structures where participants placed themselves as characters in the context of their own song cycles which gave them a heightened sense of experience and which gave the songs inherent dramatic tension.TIMES REVIEW
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