Streetwise Opera and the Ligeti Quartet explore TV programmes in this new opera by Stef Conner
This summer Streetwise Opera will open Tête à Tête’s annual festival of new opera. For the third work in their continuing Little Opera Season they have teamed up with Tête à Tête to explore both the humour and darker undertones of the small screen. People Watch is composed by Streetwise Opera Composer in Residence Stef Conner with libretto and direction by Tête à Tête’s Artistic Director Bill Bankes-Jones. The production features singer Susannah Austin and the Ligeti Quartet alongside Streetwise performers. All of the ideas and text onstage have been inspired by workshops with the company’s London performers, many of whom have experienced homelessness.
Echoing familiar TV programmes – from celebrity reality series to talent shows and catchy advert jingles this experimental work explores what happens when we watch TV; Is it innocent entertainment or a cynical vehicle to exploit the people it puts on display? Does it serve only to manipulate its audience to buy things or provide a window into the joy and hope of humanity?
The Streetwise Opera and Tête à Tête co-production People Watch by Stef Connor and Bill Bankes-Jones opens Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival on July 21 at The Place, London.