The Royal Opera House’s annual world music festival entitled Voices Across the World takes place this weekend under the auspices of ROH2. Acclaimed choral, theatre, arts’ composer and Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House, Orlando Gough curates this year’s summer celebration of tradition, diversity and innovation in vocal music from across the globe. It features artists performing a wide range of vocal styles including extreme yodellers, South Indian Carnatic music, experimental opera and Wagnerian bass-baritone John Tomlinson.
Alongside the main singing events there will be films, workshops and talks. There will also be continuous showings of Shirin Neshat’s dual-screen film Turbulent, which celebrates the power and poetics of the human voice. Created by Dominic Murcott, Extreme Karaoke offers visitors the opportunity to experiment with their own voice in an interactive aural playground. In the evening, a selection of the singers from the day will join electronic artist Andrew McDonnell in a thrilling improvised session which features looping, live sampling, duets, trios, choruses, transformations, experimentation and exhilaration.
Orlando Gough has invited twelve of his favourite singers to perform at the Royal Opera House on one day. He said: “Each of them not only has an amazing voice but an original and radical attitude to singing’. They will perform unplugged, either a capella or with minimal accompaniment in the Paul Hamlyn Hall throughout the afternoon.
Gough has described all the performers as follows:
Christian Zehnder – a spectacular yodeller and throat singer.
John Tomlinson – a legendary opera singer with a seriously bass voice.
Mkhail Karikis – an eye-opening performer and ear-opening singer.
Erika Stucky sounds more like Tom Waits than any other female singer I know of.
Dessislava Stefanova sings like a Bulgarian, which she is. Enough said.
Clare Wilkinson sings early music as if it were brand new.
Manickam Yogeswaran – a Tamil from Sri Lanka with a voice of pure honey.
Phil Minton sings with a bravery verging on the heroic.
Loré Lixenberg – the most experimental opera singer I’ve ever come across.
ESKA sings with effortlessly exuberant elan.
Talitha Mackenzie sings Gaelic music in a way that makes you understand Gaelic.
Melanie Pappenheim has the voice of an angel and the sense of humour of a devil.
31 July Day and Evening Tickets available in various venues at ROH. Box Office: 020 7304 4000. Prices: Day/Evening Tickets £10, Combined Tickets £15. concessions available. www.roh.org.uk/world