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A new opera for our time

Monday 4th April 2022, 3.00 pm

During the first lockdown, young composer Zygmund de Somogyi was commissioned to write a piece that was ‘of our time’. Zyggy chose Hikikomori, the modern Japanese phenomenon in which people withdraw completely from all society for years at a time.

The new piece, a chamber opera for four voices and a piano, will be performed by Katy Thomson, Kieran Rayner, lúnó Connolly and Liam Bonthrone, with Michelle Santiago playing the piano. They will be directed by Susanna Stranders.

Tickets are £10 per head (no charge for those of school age) from or by telephone from Nigel Masters on 01935 817194.

More information

Hikikimori is complimented by specially commissioned drawings projections by Anna Thorpe, a Japanese artist and illustrator living in Somerset.  These will be projected onto the stage backdrop.

This first performance of the opera will be a matinee and last about an hour. The piece will be a platform performance with the musicians singing from the score. The performance will be preceded by an interview with the composer by Susanna Stranders at 3pm. It is hoped that Anna Thorpe will also be able to attend the performance.

Nigel Masters, who commissioned the work, comments “The music will be in complete contrast with the classical style of Pauline Viardot of the evening before. Although much of this work is atonal, I found it both reflective and accessible, even on first hearing. The mood evokes the challenges we face if we choose to step from the sad tranquillity of lockdown back into the uncertain reality of a busy post-pandemic world.”

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