Performing Arts: Ruins to Opera

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Performing Arts in the College of Arts is about music and movement, the old and the new. We write fresh, up-to-date translations of ancient plays for new audiences, and produce innovative works of art to be performed in public. We are inspired by ruins to question the passing of time through text and image, and we research historical music performances and re-record them in the highest quality digital outputs. We celebrate the history of pantomime and look to the future of queer performance. We are performing well.

In musical terms, Professor Martin Cloonan works to champion the freedom of music and musicians as a chair of Freemuse, established to to examine, discuss and document a wide variety of music censorship. Professor Cloonan also contributes to the Live Music Exchange website, a joint venture between the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow, which acts as a ‘one-stop-shop’ resource for those interested in the music industry. Students have worked with Aldeburgh Music to curate one of their residencies, and students have also been involved with scoring music for television and film under the direction of Dr David McGuinness.

We are also involved in musical performances directly. The writer Zoe Strachan worked with Dr Nick Fells, a composer, to write two hugely successful operas for the Edinburgh International Festival and Scottish Opera. Dunedin Consort, Scotland’s leading baroque ensemble, are led by Professor John Butt who puts his historical research into practice through their performances. As a group, they work with Linn Records to produce extremely high quality recordings that are commercially successful.

Theatre and dance are two other areas of interest for the College of Arts. Dr Ian Ruffell produced a new translation of Euripides’ ancient play, the Bacchae, for a recent production directed by David Grieg. His involvement throughout the rehearsal process was key to making the play understandable and accessible. Dr Stephen Greer is interested in queer performance and brought together a panel of experts, including Glasgay founder Stephen Thompson, to discuss its future. Dr Anselm Heinrich also started another important discussion based on the Rites of Spring centenary, bringing together key figures from the dance world. Pantomime too has been a subject of study in the College with a range of events designed to make the public think, remember and celebrate pantomimes.

We also create innovative pieces of performance art. Dr Minty Donald and fellow artists produced High Slack Low Slack High for the Glasgow International Festival, encouraging people to look at Glasgow’s river Clyde in a new way. Professor Carl Lavery’s text and image-based work with the artist Lee Hassall explores the idea of ruins and their dynamism.

Our huge range of ability in this area means that we are always looking for new directions. If you have an idea for a performance or performance-related project then get in touch with Dr Fraser Rowan the College of Arts Business Development manager by email, phone (0141 330 3885) or tweet us @GlasgowUniArts.

Text by Jennifer Hilder. Watch Jennifer’s video ‘Performing Arts in 55 seconds‘.

Learn more about Performing Arts or discuss developing a partnership with the College of Arts. View all of our Performing Arts case studies in full.


Post Author: Fraser Rowan

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