- May 12, 2019
Sheila Hill’s Brighton Festival commission was a fascinating piece celebrating motherhood. Bringing together a large female choir, a cast of children and a jazz quartet she explores her experience of becoming a mother.
The choral parts of the work were beautifully delivered and for the most part Melanie Pappenheim’s solo voice rang true. The kids were exemplary and delivered what could not be described as an easy score with confidence and precision.
On to the jazz interjections, and yes I use the word intentionally. I enjoyed the cool Manhattan jazz vibe great trumpet playing and guitar and bass – but, and it’s a big but, I simply did not understand how or why it was there. I guess that it was an integral and important elemnt in Hill’s experience of motherhood, but I didn’t feel the bond.
The staging and lighting was elegant, gentle shifts of positioning, a dark gloom with occasional glowing moments looked so good but made me feel that parenthood is perhaps a dark and moody experience.
I enjoyed the parts, but sadly found the whole less than satsifying, but I applaud the intention and the fact that the festival encourages and commissions new work.
Dome Concert Hall