Mittwoch aus Licht is German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen’s last piece of work, and it is truly like nothing else I have ever seen performed. Staged in four main parts, one of the acts involves four members of a string quartet going up in four separate helicopters and playing a synchronized polyphonic composition in time to the sounds of the rotor blades. The first part, which was my favourite, was called Welt-Parlament (World Parliament) and requires opera singers to sit atop very high yellow chairs and ‘debate in unknown languages’.
The second scene is the Orchester-Finalisten (Orchestra Finalists) where eleven instrumentalists are suspended in the air.
The musician Debs White suspended with her violin.
This image gives a better idea of the scale of the show. The audience were asked to lay down on padded mats, the orchestra suspended above them and various musicians and actors moved between them.
The fourth section is called Michaelion and has three sub scenes, one of which is Luzikamel, in which a Bactrian camel (or rather two people dressed as one) arrives with a trombonist. I was in Birmingham for two days and the opera lasts almost six hours. There isn’t the space to show you too many of my photos, but here are a few other images, including the two genuine-real-life bactrian camels that came to the opera. Please click on the thumbnails to see larger images.
Otto Maidi and Nonhlanhla Yende performed the lead roles of Porgy and Bess.
Victor Ryan Robertson as Sportin’ Life
I photographed two dress rehearsals – singing opera is extremely demanding so most companies tour with several casts. Sibongile Mngoma also performed as Bess.
Please click on the thumbnails to see larger images from the production.
To see more of my production images, please visit the production photography area of my website.
Yesterday I photographed the 2012 Olivier Awards and here are a few of my images from the day.
I was commissioned by the Olivier Awards to photograph the event, starting on the red carpet through to the award winners with their statues
Matilda composer Tim Minchin on the red carpet before the awards ceremony.
I was asked to get a variety of coverage, both straight to camera photography and images that capture the atmosphere at the event. The Oliviers were absolutely heaving with people despite the freezing weather – there was a hail storm shortly before the red carpet opened – but that didn’t deter the crowds. I was able to roam the carpet shooting the stars as they were interviewed. Patrick Stewart looks just as dashing in real life as he does on screen.
Please click on the thumbnails to see larger images of stars on the red carpet including Ronan Keating, Lenny Henry, Tyne Daly and Brian May.
After the red carpet I went backstage where the award presenters and winners came to be photographed. Lyricist Sir Tim Rice, who must be one of the loveliest people in show-business, with his Olivier award for outstanding contribution to musical theatre.
My photos are being used by the Society of London Theatre and the Olivier Awards to promote the event. Please check out the Olivier Awards website to see more images and to read more about the event. Above you can see a screen shot of the website featuring my photos of Anne-Marie Duff and James McAvoy
In January I took the rehearsal photographs for Verdi’s opera Aida which was performed at the Royal Albert Hall. It was one of my more chilly shoots (three cheers for large warehouse studios), but it was great to have the opportunity to photograph the singers in such a dynamic space.
Soprano Catrin Aur performing as High Priestess.
Directorial notes from the show’s director, Stephen Medcalf.
It’s hard to find a good baritone these days, so David Kempster is kept under lock and key while performing as Amonasro.