Twice Through The Heart

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Performed at Sadler’s Wells, London 1 Dec 2011 – 3 Dec 2011

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Score and direction by Mark-Anthony Turnage

Performed by mezzo-soprano Sara Connolly

Orchestra conducted by Tim Murray

Choreography by Wayne McGregor

Lighting by Lucy Carter

Costumes by Moritz Junge

Stage projections by OpenEnded Group.

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Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph, December 2, 2011

For Wayne McGregor’s production, the audience wears 3D glasses, through which we watch the woman – Sarah Connolly, acting and singing with total commitment and control – surrounded and engulfed by images of her own inner chaos and bleak memories.

The video, devised by OpenEndedGroup, is often astonishingly beautiful. It melts, vibrates, expands and contracts, mostly in shades of black and white . Tim Murray conducts firmly, though lowering the overall volume would have helped Connolly get more of the text across.

Judith Mackrell, The Guardian, December 2, 2011

There’s no innocence in the work that opens the programme, a revival of Turnage’s 1997 chamber opera, Twice Through the Heart. This starkly staged story of a woman imprisoned for killing her abusive husband is sung by mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly . Under McGregor’s direction, Connolly’s body is expressive, as she sits abandoned in her prison cell, sometimes curled up in foetal misery.

What’s new about this revival is its 3D-design from the Open Ended Group. Cloudy images are projected around Connolly, visualising her thoughts, memories of the kitchen where her husband held her captive. It’s clever and haunting. These are images the women can’t bear to see clearly. And if occasionally distracting, the projections are also handled with dramatic restraint. At moments of greatest emotional agony, the stage is empty. Just Connolly, alone and incarcerated, without even her bleakest memories to distract her.