Where The Wild Things Are
Higglety Pigglety Pop!

Oliver Knussen/Maurice Sendak
Aldeburgh Festival


|  back to concerts and opera  |

* * * * *
Enter the virtuoso director/designer Netia Jones with a wonderfully elegant solution: live casts led by two brilliant singer-actors who interact with back-projections of Sendak's drawings which Jones animates in real time... if Jones's stagings take the breath away, so does the perfection of their meld with the music'
Michael Church, Independent

* * * *
'as much a triumph of animated film, video projection and split-second co-ordination as of conventional theatre... her ingenious craft extends beyond that. She has pioneered real-time animation, sitting at a computer desk and aligning her images, note by note, with the live performers'
Richard Morrisson, Times

'a stupendous staging of his Sendak-inspired operatic double bill...It would be easy to devote all the available space to praising Netia Jones' ingenious direction and video designs, in association with Lightmap. With immense skill, they have rendered Sendak's original drawings as live animation, so the appearance is at once enchanting and familiar'
Fiona Maddocks, Observer

* * * *
'Few operas can be more tightly bound up with the visual images of the stories that inspired them than these. Jones has understood this perfectly, and having discussed her productions with Sendak, she has utterly faithful to his visual world, while animating it in a perfectly judged, gently witty way'
Andrew Clements, Guardian

* * * *
'Aldeburgh has done the work proud...the staging is imaginative - in a collaboration with Sendak sadly cut short when he died last month, Netia Jones and Lightmap have realised the classic illustrations in the form of animated video, with which Max interacts'

Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph

'the director and video artist Netia Jones built her production around a fantastical adaptation of Sendak's own designs, making for a moving tribute...thanks to her video animations the space feels bigger, and boundaries are further blurred as singers interact with the storybook projections or disappear behind the screens in silhouette. Jones's freewheeling imagination is in tune with the music itself'
John Allison, Seven Magazine, Telegraph

* * * *
Video has now come to Oliver Knussen's 1980s double bill of Maurice Sendak operas, Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop!
There is something absurdly magical about having a real human being appear to pluck a leaf from a video image, or throw a non-physical object across the screen. It's a simple conceit, but one which retains a sense of wonder, especially when the imagery involved is pure Sendak. That's what Jones offers here: all the familiar fine-lined fantasy and grotesquerie, but with moving parts, eyes that roll, jaws that open, a horse that trots.
Michael Dervan Irish Times