In 2002 Patricia Rozario sang the soprano solo in “The Vision of Piers plowman”, Andrew’s oratorio, with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Shortly afterwards she was asked by Tom Morris, now at the National Theatre, to nominate a composer to collaborate on a one-woman show. Six years later the meter’s on, and cab is ready to depart.
Pat is a taxi driver with an obsession: Mozart. The Marriage of Figaro is her constant companion in the cab, and Susanna and the rest of the characters are her friends and familiars. She sings along, shouts at them, joins in with their music, and adds her own take on it. She cajoles them, bullies them, argues with them. Their dramas become more and more vivid in her mind, more real than the reality of road-rage on the Embankment. Occasionally she’ll pick up a fare, but only if they like Mozart, and only if their destination fits with the shape of her day, her journey, her destination. The “real” world of bus-lanes and BMWs becomes increasingly blurred with the Mozartian world in her head. This is an opera about how we “use” music. What is it for? Why do we need it to fill the silence? What is left when the music stops? As Pat says, “let’s have a little night-music, Susanna, because if we take away the music, all that’s left is the night.” It’s a drama about journeys, maps, the patterns we make to fill up the blank pages, and about what is left to show we’ve been here at all when the journey ends.
An eclectic sound-world recreates the strange, surreal mixture in Pat’s head. Mozart plays on the stereo. The “real” world is heard in the form of new music, sometimes super-imposed on the recorded Mozart, sometimes free-standing. The sonic paraphernalia of modern life plays a part in this sound-world too: car-horns, ring-tones, sat-navs, police-cars. This is a portrait in sound of an increasingly disturbing drive through contemporary London, with the inevitable result at the lights in St. Martin’s Lane.
Come drive with me. Share my journey. But be careful – Pat might know better than you where you will end up….
Andrew Gant’s compositions include A British Symphony, being premiered by the Philharmonia Orchestra on August 4th 2008 (yes, that’s right, tomorrow), works for artists including James Bowman, Catrin Finch and Joseph Nolan, collaborations with poets including Andrew Motion and Franklin Reeve, and a range of music for choir including his recent Requiem for choir and three violas. He is Choirmaster at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, responsible for music at many State events, and has released CDs with the choir of Handel, Purcell and contemporary music on the Naxos and Signum labels to great critical acclaim.
Patricia Rozario was born in Bombay and graduated from London’s Guildhall School of Music as Gold Medalist. She has sung with the world’s foremost opera companies and festivals in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary. Leading composers including Pärt and Tavener have written many works especially for her. In addition to Faultline with SJDC, engagements this season include a Wigmore Hall recital, world premieres of Tavener, Vir (Stuttgart), Andrew Gant and Jonathan Dove, appearances at the City of London, Salisbury and BBC Proms Festivals, as well as concerts in Canada, Denmark, Austria and India. Patricia was awarded the OBE in 2001 and the Asian Women’s Award for Achievement, 2002.
New Chamber Opera – Based in Oxford and founded in 1990 by Gary Cooper and Michael Burden to work in the fields of chamber opera and music theatre, New Chamber Opera has staged over thirty productions including Handel’s Xerxes and Amadigi, Cimarosa’s The Secret Marriage, and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, La finta giardiniera, La finta semplice and Cosi fan tutte. Appearances outside Oxford have included concerts and productions at the Tudeley and Southwark Festivals, the British Embassy in Paris, and performances at London’s South Bank and at the National Gallery. Aside from its professional commitments, the Company’s Studio stages two student productions a year and a recital series in which they take part. Recent NCO Studio productions have included Walton’s The Bear, Stravinsky’s Renard, and the premieres of John Caldwell’s The Story of Orpheus and Samuel Hogarth’s David and Goliath. The Studio has also presented a range of pieces and extracts in workshops with the University of Oxford’s Visiting Professor of Opera including Thomas Allen, Phillip Gossett, John Eliot Gardiner, and Graham Vick. New Chamber Opera has been funded