Focus on Music and Dance at Aarhus
Ella Marchment is Artistic Director of Helios Collective and Director of Productions at Constella OperaBallet. She is currently part of the Steering Committee for Operatic Mass Actions in Aarhus, Denmark. Having worked on over one hundred opera and theatre productions throughout Europe and produced many events that span opera, ballet, musicals, comedy, club nights and installations, her directing credits are numerous. They include the International Opera Awards at The London Coliseum, Alexander Goehr’s Tryptich at Mariinsky II, an opera–ballet production of Stravinsky’s Renard, and an acclaimed international tour of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs For A Mad King, which was described by Opera Now as one of the best productions worldwide in 2014.
Ella's opera-play, Hathaway was shown at the Copenhagen Opera Festival, and An Evening With Lucian Freud, starring Cressida Bonas, was a sell-out in the West End. Ella is also co-founder of Theatre N16, a company that promotes new plays and opera adaptations. In 2016, she travelled to Denmark having been awarded the Artists International Development Fund by the British Council and Arts Council.
Ella is committed to solving problems regarding opera’s accessibility and is determined to create professional development opportunities for young artists. She particularly enjoys presenting opera with a twist. In 2015 she wrote and directed a play–opera adaptation of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and also set up a series of Opera Club Nights in London. Her ability to think outside the box was recognised in 2015 with Ella becoming the first director to receive an International Opera Awards Foundation bursary. Building on this success, in 2016, International Opera Awards Foundation bursary was awarded to Helios Collective.
Current and future engagements include directing Operatic Mass Actions at The International Living Theatre Festival in Aarhus, Mad King Suibhne at Bury Court Opera, and a piece exploring the music of Austen's life at Grange Park Festival in September 2017.
Tree of Codes
Inspired by the 2010 novel by American writer Jonathan Safran Foer, Tree of Codes is a ground-breaking contemporary ballet produced by Manchester International Festival, Paris Opera Ballet and Studio Wayne McGregor. Tree of Codes is a creative collaboration of Wayne McGregor’s choreography, artist Olafur Eliasson’s visual concept, and songwriter and composer Jamie xx’s electronic score in what The Daily Telegraph describes as a ‘kaleidoscopic confection.’ Now presented at Musikhuset Aarhus for the Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture, following the 2015 premiere in Manchester, Tree of Codes will be performed by soloists and dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor.
Find out more about Tree of Codes at Aarhus 2017.
LightLens – 16th – 17th June
Following the performances of Tree of Codes in April, the summer of 2017 will see McGregor back again in Aarhus with Studio Wayne McGregor. This time, McGregor and his dancers will work with more than two hundred local participants of different ages, interests and cultures to create a commissioned work that celebrates the people and the city of Aarhus through dance, sound and costume. LightLens promises to be an exciting event for both the performers and audience with variations of this mass dance taking place in a number of municipalities across the region. Studio Wayne McGregor has a 20-year history of creating high quality, innovative participatory dance performances and LightLens promises to be an exciting event for both performers and audience. Commissioned by Aarhus 2017, Lightlens is presented by Studio Wayne McGregor in collaboration with Performing Arts Platform and Dansehallerne.
Discover LightLens at Aarhus 2017.
Choir of St John’s College Cambridge at Aarhus Capital of Culture
The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is one of the finest collegiate boys and men’s choirs in the world, with a varied repertoire spanning five centuries of music. It is known for its distinctive sound, expressive interpretations and an ability to sing in a variety of styles. Rehearsing twice a day to consistently produce high standards of singing over 200 services a year in Chapel, the distinctive ‘St John’s Sound’ is brought to listeners around the world each week via a weekly webcast. The Choir’s repertoire is extremely varied and renowned for championing contemporary music in its commissioning of new works. A recent innovation is the performance of a Bach Cantata each term at Evensong, with St John's Sinfonia, a period instrument orchestra.
For the last ten years the Choir has been directed by former Organ Scholar Andrew Nethsingha who oversees the delivering of concerts, tours and events across the globe, as well as special services held through the year, such as the Advent Carol service, Ash Wednesday Evensong and the Bach Cantata Evensongs.
The Creation by Haydn at Aarhus (6 April 2017 – 8 April 2017)
In April the Choir heads to Denmark for the fourth time in seven years, where they will perform Joseph Haydn’s Creation twice. The Oratorio, composed by Haydn in 1797-1798 and considered by many to be his masterpiece, depicts and celebrates the creation of the world as described in the Book of Genesis from the Bible and in Milton’s Paradise Lost.
The performance is a collaboration with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and the Herning Boys Choir. It stars the soloists the Swedish Soprano Malin Christenson, the British Tenor James Gilchrist and Bass Neal Davies. Nethsingha sees this glorious piece of music and chance to perform in Denmark as a perfectly pan-European opportunity, particularly at a time when cultural connections between the UK and Europe should be stronger than ever. The music was composed by an Austrian, influenced by London where Haydn experienced Handel’s music, brings together singers from across Europe and celebrates Britain’s lasting tradition of choral music.
The first venue is the Symphony Hall in Aarhus, Denmark’s second city, and the largest concert hall in Scandinavia. The second concert is at the Kongrescenter in the nearby city of Herning, home of the Herning Boys Choir. The Choir consists of 50 men and boys and is led by Mads Bille. It already has strong ties with St John’s after performing the Creation with the Cambridge-based choir in 2013.