When Eleanor Knight began researching her libretto for Silk Moth, she had to decide how to frame an opera about honour violence. Meeting women whose lives it had ruptured through the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, she confronted the usual images that accompany the dozen-or-so honour killings per year in the UK media. Between the ‘old, faded school photos’ that illustrate victimhood and the male perpetrators with ‘blankets over their heads … shoved into waiting police cars’, she saw a gulf of painful complexity. ‘What’, she asks, ‘of the mothers?’.1 Continue reading →
It’s summer opera festival season in the UK—so, are you a Glyndebourne or a Grimeborn person? Country house in Sussex, or a converted factory in east London? Mostly standard repertoire, or an adventurous programme with plenty of contemporary discoveries? Membership advised if you want to attend, or accessible pricing? Picnic on the lawn in the supper interval, or walk round the corner to the finest Turkish kebab joints in town? Continue reading →
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
As a child I was always singing, and took part in music festivals and amateur dramatics. In my teens, I started to pursue singing more seriously, but had thought I would read English at university. It was whilst studying for GCSE Music that my teacher said that I should really think about doing a degree in Music. Until then I hadn’t really even considered it as a possibility.
Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
I am absolutely indebted to all of my teachers, all of whom have invested a huge amount in Continue reading →
Launched in 2011, Ruthless Jabiru is a London-based chamber orchestra, artistic director Kelly Lovelady, dedicated to new music and humanitarian stories, with its personnel entirely made up of professional Australian musicians based in the UK. The ensemble will be making its Grimeborn Festival debut with its first fully-staged production Silk Moth which runs from 9 to 11 August 2019. Silk Moth will examine the complex tragedies of honour crime, family violence and female (dis)empowerment in Britain and beyond, using the music of three UK-based women composers, Bushra El-Turk, Liza Lim and Cassandra Miller, in a production directed by Heather Fairbairn.
The centrepiece is Bushra El-Turk and librettist Eleanor Knight’s hard-hitting chamber Continue reading →
A chaplaincy service says it’s becoming an increasingly worrying time for workers on big ships and how important is it to teach LGBT lessons at primary school? [in which Ruthless Jabiru Artistic Director Kelly Lovelady and Silk Moth librettist Eleanor Knight discuss Ruthless Jabiru’s forthcoming production Silk Moth for Grimeborn Festival (2:49:00)]
Ruthless Jabiru presents Bushra El-Turk’s hard-hitting opera Silk Moth alongside works by Liza Lim and Cassandra Miller at the Arcola Theatre in London’s East End, August 9-11. Composers Edition’s Dan Goren caught up with the pioneering musical director Kelly Lovelady to find out more.
Dan Goren: Tell me how you’ve come to be producing this first fully-staged production of Silk Moth and what drew you to it.
Kelly Lovelady: I had been wanting to programme something of Bushra’s for years so when I had the chance to dream up some new programme ideas I went through her works list with a fine comb. The instrumentation of Silk Moth for a single vocalist and mixed Continue reading →
An opera featuring a libretto written by a University of Brighton lecturer is to be performed in London in August
17 June 2019
Eleanor Knight, who teaches on the Creative Writing MA, wrote the libretto for the short opera Silk Moth which premiered at the Nour Festival of Arts in London in 2015.
Ruthless Jabiru’s Silk Moth runs at the Arcola Theatre in Hackney from 09-11 August. Part of the theatre’s Grimeborn season, the production weaves together Arabic and Western music traditions and explores honour crime, family violence and female (dis)empowerment in Britain and beyond. Continue reading →