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A Chamber Opera & Night Of Cabaret

© Claire Shovelton

On 16th September, Roman River Music puts the spotlight on the storytelling powers of the human voice, offering up a double bill evening of performers whose careers have danced the intoxicating borderline between West End, Opera, Classical and Cabaret performance.

At 6pm, hEARd: ‘What we heard’ will give a night of voices exploring love and humanity. Soprano, writer and actress Lila Palmer will be joined by composer Theo Jamieson (last spotted conducting Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl), rising star director Miranda Cromwell (National Theatre) and an extraordinary international cast, to break free of the constraints between chamber music and theatre with their dramatic quartet, hEARd, onstage at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester, complete with after show discussion.

Orlando Jopling, Artistic Director at Roman River Music, says:

“Something new is coming to town!  Fusing theatre and instrumentals, hEARd is a chamber opera being created right here in Colchester.

This year’s festival aims to push the boundaries beyond the traditional, with new and exciting performances that will challenge people’s expectations and introduce them to something totally new.  hEARd is set to be a thought-provoking, dramatic evening of theatre.”

At 9pm, you can catch Jessica Walker: cabaret songs from the 20th century. Join internationally acclaimed singer Jessica Walker and accompanist Joseph Atkins for a scintillating yet forgotten history of some of the great ladies of popular song from the last century, including the ground-breaking Victorian male impersonators Vesta Tilley and Hetty King, 1930s Parisian cabaret queen Suzy Solidor, Britain’s lesser known WW2 sweetheart Pat Kirkwood, and sultry French 1960s chanteuse Barbara all live at Colchester Arts Centre.

Jessica Walker’s voice has been described by the New York Times as ‘a pure, bright mezzo-soprano of such melting beauty I think I could listen to it forever’ and having ‘luminous, androgynous appeal’ by The Stage.

“Transport your mind away for the evening to a stylish, dark and smoky members club, for a complete tour of 20th century cabaret music with chanteuse Jessica Walker. From Victorian impersonators, right through to 1960’s France, Jessica will move you effortlessly through the decades, for an evening of music like no other.  This is a unique opportunity to witness such a highly acclaimed star, right in the heart of Colchester.”

Tickets are on sale for hEARd though mercurytheatre.co.uk and Jessica Walker through romanrivermusic.org.uk.