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Elephant shopping centre features in new opera

The Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre is the unlikely setting for a new opera which receives its premiere at the Aldeburgh Festival this week.

Elephant and Castle opera
Image by Silk Pearce

Elephant and Castle is a new opera incorporating film, digital sounds, installations and live performance.

The music is by the conservatoire-trained Tansy Davies and the DJ/electronica artist Mira Calix. The text is by Blake Morrison.

The opera has been written to coincide with the 40th anniversaries of both the shopping centre and the Snape Maltings Concert Hall which are each facing imminent redevelopment.

The story is described as "a dark version of Hansel and Gretel". Two children go missing in the shopping centre and the audience gradually discovers what has happened to them as they promenade around the auditorium.

The opera will be performed at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall at Snape in Suffolk on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 June as part of the 60th Aldeburgh Festival. Tickets are still available.

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