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19th April, 2017

Philip Venables’ 4.48 Psychosis nominated for Olivier Award and RPS Music Awards

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Philip Venables’ 4.48 Psychosis, a co-commission between the Guildhall School and The Royal Opera in association with The Lyric Hammersmith, has been nominated for an Olivier Award 2017 and two RPS Music Awards.

It has been nominated in the Olivier Awards category of Best New Opera Production and for the RPS Music Award for Opera and Music Theatre, with composer Philip Venables also nominated in the RPS Music Award for Large-Scale Composition.

A number of Guildhall School alumni were nominated in both sets of awards. Freddie Fox (Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Travesties), Neil Austin (White Light Award for Best Lighting Design for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child) and Niall Ransome (member of the Mischief Theatre Company and cast member in The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, nominated for Best New Comedy) were all nominated in the Olivier Awards 2017, and Mark Simpson was nominated for the RPS Music Award for Chamber-Scale Composition for Hommage à Kurtàg.

The Olivier Awards ceremony will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 9 April 2017, and the RPS Music Award winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 9 May at The Brewery in the City of London.

4.48 Psychosis received its world premiere on 24 May 2016 to critical acclaim, with The Guardian lauding it as “a remarkable achievement”. The opera is the culmination of Venables’ position as inaugural Doctoral Composer-in-Residence at the Guildhall School and The Royal Opera.

Based on the final work of the radical British playwright Sarah Kane, 4.48 Psychosis is the first operatic adaptation of a work by Kane and is scored for a small ensemble of singers and instrumentalists. Sopranos Gweneth-Ann Rand, Jennifer Davis and Susanna Hurrell, mezzo-sopranos Clare Presland, Lucy Schaufer, and Emily Edmonds and London-based chamber ensemble CHROMA premiered the opera in May 2016. The production was directed by Ted Huffman, who made his Royal Opera debut, and was conducted by Richard Baker, who is also Professor of Composition at the Guildhall School. The creative team was completed by designer Hannah Clark, who also made her Royal Opera debut, and lighting designer D.M. Wood.

Launched in 2013, the collaboration between the Guildhall School and The Royal Opera is one of the first examples of an opera company and conservatoire joining forces to offer a Composer-in-Residence studentship which leads to a doctoral research degree. Fully funded by the Guildhall School and supported by The Royal Opera, the studentship offers one composer every two years the opportunity to be Doctoral Composer-in-Residence over a three-year period and is supervised by Head of Composition at the Guildhall School Julian Philips and Associate Director of Opera at The Royal Opera John Fulljames. During this time, the composer researches and writes a major work, which is staged by The Royal Opera at the end of the residency. In September 2015 Na’ama Zisser joined the programme as the second Doctoral Composer-in-Residence. Her new opera is due to be staged by The Royal Opera in 2018.


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