Songs of Love & Desire

Presented at the Battersea Arts Centre, London, September 1998, with VOCEM electric voice theatre.

Conceived and devised by Kandis Cook and Nick Till. Musical Director Frances Lynch. Singers Margaret Cameron, James Meek, Jenny Miller, David Sheppard, Julian Stocker Performer Hilary Skewes/Gabriella Chidgey. Sound Design by Paul Bull. Lighting by Chahine Yavroyan.

Time Out No.1 "Critics’ Choice"

"They took the greatest delight in the art, so that they spent entire days in some rooms designed especially for this purpose. They accompanied the music and sentiment with appropriate facial expressions, glances and gestures, with no awkward movements of the mouth or hands or body which might not express the feeling of the song."

On the performance of madrigals in the courts of Mantua and Ferrara, 1628

Songs of Love & Desire is a dramatic presentation of Monteverdi’s 4th Book of Madrigals for five voices. The production employs reflected images and electronic sound treatment to capture the baroque spirit of Monteverdi’s intense and passionate music, placing it in a world of ever-changing sound and vision. Monteverdi’s madrigals trace an erotic narrative from the first flickerings of desire to sex, betrayal and death, employing modes that range from direct address to miniature dramas and third-person narratives. Following Monteverdi’s own narrative of longing and passion, the performance explores a space between reality and illusion that reflects the dissolving boundaries expressed in the madrigals themselves between life and death, presence and absence, self and other.

"This piece was completely new and very exciting. The power of the voices in the intimate space was exhilarating".

"Highly original, beautifully performed."

"Amazed and fascinated by the interweaving of taped music so seamlessly. Very enjoyable."

"Stylish, musical, unified, great !"

"Altogether it was a thought-provoking, moving and beautiful experience."

(From audience questionnaires)

© Post-Operative Productions, Nick Till, Kandis Cook, 2002