Manchester Collective: Pierrot Lunaire at RNCM

Johnny James, Managing Editor

Manchester Collective: Pierrot Lunaire at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester 16 November 2018 Tickets from £18 — Book now

Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire is one of the most significant works of the twentieth century. Setting 21 selected poems by Belgian symbolist poet Albert Giraud, it’s a melodrama which tells the bizarre story of a moonstruck clown. Delivering the poems in the Sprechstimme style, a vocalist (usually soprano) is joined by flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano in what is now referred to as a Pierrot ensemble. The music is written in a freely atonal style, pre-dating the composers famous twelve-tone technique by a decade, and the words conjure fantastical stories filled with strange psychological symbols. It’s a challenging work which has been intriguing and confounding audiences for over a hundred years. If there is any ensemble fit to do it creative justice, then it’s the wildly inventive Manchester Collective.

Founded in 2016, Manchester Collective produce innovative, daring musical experiences which aim to transform the audience experience. Intimate, immersive and utterly thrilling, their performances lessen the gap between audience and music, both literally and emotionally. By drawing audiences physically closer to the performers (they usually have the audience surrounding them), they facilitate a more visceral emotional engagement with the music. As a start-up, they have had an incredibly fruitful two years, and in 2017 were appointed the ‘Ensemble in Residence’ at The Stoller Hall in Manchester, where they continue to contort convention. Given that they are most at home with highly-charged, theatrical works, Pierrot Lunaire is a perfect choice for the collective.

Performed in English, in a new translation by David Pountney, Manchester Collective will bring the sensual and dangerous world of Schoenberg’s melodrama to life with a staged production directed by Emma Doherty. Australian soprano Lotte Betts-Dean has the job of delving deep into the troubled inner world of the female protagonist. Giving the audience a way into the emotional wreckage of the unnamed woman’s story, Pierrot Lunaire will be presented by NTS/BBC 6 broadcaster Elizabeth Alker, who will be a calm voice of guidance before the madness ensues. This is an exciting first opportunity to see Manchester Collective instil Schoenberg’s work with new life, before the project tours the UK.

Manchester Collective: Pierrot Lunaire at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester 16 November 2018 Tickets from £18 Book now

Students playing in an orchestra
MusicOxford Road
RNCM Symphony Orchestra at RNCM

An exhilarating journey awaits as the RNCM Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage with a programme of Benjamin Britten, William Walton, Julia Perry and Keiko Abe.

from £8.50

Where to go near Manchester Collective: Pierrot Lunaire at RNCM

Manchester
Restaurant
San Carlo Fumo

San Carlo Fumo may be part of a chain, but it doesn’t feel like it. Right at the top of Oxford Road, it’s lavishly decorated and specialises in cicchetti, or Italian small plates.

Utility Gift Shop
Manchester
Shop
Utility Gift Shop

Utility Gift Shop on Oxford Road is all about products that are new, unique, quirky and cool. High street shopping at its best.

exterior of Contact Theatre building
Manchester
Theatre
Contact Theatre

Following a major redevelopment, the iconic venue on Oxford Road will be reopening its doors to welcome the public back into the building this autumn. 

The Salutation pub in Manchester
Manchester
Bar or Pub
The Salutation

This traditional boozer, surrounded by imposing flats and university buildings, was taken over by Trof (of the Deaf Institute fame). The Sally, as the regulars call it, hosts an energetic, arty crowd – and its recently expanded outside area is another good reason to visit.

Manchester
University
MMU Student Union

Manchester Metropolitan University Students’ Union building houses a bar and various other facilities for students and staff.

Manchester
Music venue
The Deaf Institute

The Deaf Institute is a vibrant gig venue and nightclub for which it is well worth taking a jaunt out of the Northern Quarter.

What's on: Music

Until
ActivityManchester
DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

from £269
Songs of Descent
MusicManchester
Songs of Descent at Niamos

This month the Niamos hosts Songs of Descent, an operatic monodrama retelling the story of Persephone journeying into the underworld, followed by a joyful curated club night.

from £5.00

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Fresh concert seasons, forward-thinking festivals and a revolving door of amazing gigs. Things are looking bright as spring comes into view.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

February is a month of love so art lovers in the North - rejoice! There is lots to choose from: two photography festivals, gorgeous crafts and shows celebrating local talent.