'Even you, lights, cannot hear me'

Exploring a futuristic and elegiac vision of the end of time, Even you, lights, cannot hear me is a new operatic spectacle based on a monologue from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Two singers, depicted as two beings embodied into one entity, wander a surreal, yet exquisite cosmos, in which nothingness and wholeness coexist, timelessly.

Composed by award-winning artist Simone Spagnolo and directed by visionary theatre practitioner Dimitry Devdariani, this work gives a whole new life to Chekhov’s powerful writing, whilst challenging the contemporary notion of opera and music-theatre. Try to imagine a spaceless world, where a two-headed creature sings, water constantly flows, and the sound of a piano echoes through all its keys: this is the world of Even you, lights, cannot hear me. An operatic experience, an inextricable blend of music and theatre. A glimpse of life after the world’s end.

This special composition, scored for two opera singers doubling on piano, pebbles and water, will be kindly hosted for four performances at London’s NSH Arts as follows:

Thursday 28 April 8:00 pm

Friday 29 April 8:00 pm

Saturday 30 April 8:00 pm

Sunday 1 May 3:00 pm

Tickets available at Even you, lights, cannot hear me.  Tickets are free - but a suggested donation of £10 is requested to cover the costs of musicians and the production.

Chekhov’s monologue, also, appears in a new original translation by Dimitry Devdariani.

We believe this project has an enormous artistic value. If you wish to contribute to the success of the project, please follow this link to the the crowdfunding page that is helping to make the whole event possible.

The creative team

Originally born from a collaboration between Simone Spagnolo and Dimitry Devdariani, Even you, lights, cannot hear me will be performed by Kate Symonds-Joy (Mezzo-soprano) and James Schouten (Baritone), and it will include the creative input of NSH Arts’ founder Nick Hugh and artist Alice Sielle.

Simone Spagnolo composer

Simone has composed for concert, theatre, opera, ballet, film and multimedia. His music has been performed at London's Royal Festival Hall, St.Martin-in-the-Fields, Tête-à-Tête, ENO, Budapest’s Liszt Academy, Stanford University and Los Angeles’ Aratani Theatre, among others. Winner of the Asia America Symphony Orchestra Prize, Philip Bates Prize and David Turton Prize, in 2011 he was Artist-in-Residence at Bergen's USF Verftet. Having gained a PhD in composition from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Simone is Lecturer in Musical Theatre at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and Artistic Director of The Music Theatre Hub.

Dimitry Devdariani director

Raised in T'bilisi, Georgia, Dimitry has trained as an actor and artist, and has written more than thirty plays, such as Sunday's Angel and The Ear. Productions he recently directed include: Darren Brealey’s No White Mongoose For Wilma, performed at London’s Etcetera Theatre; Antigone, presented at Westminster Reference Library; Pirandello’s The Man With the Flower in His Mouth, staged at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre; Pilkington’s The Boy on the Bridge, performed at London’s The Rose; and Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris, staged at the Courtyard Theatre. Dimitry has also taught acting at the Russian International Theatre School and Musica Nova Academy.

Tara Adelberg production assistant

Tara is a Junior at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA (USA) and is studying history, creative writing, and theatre. She is currently in London as a study abroad student. Primarily a stage manager, Tara most recently worked on Goodnight Moon: The Musical, Little Women, and Almost, Maine all at Hollins. She recently apprenticed at the Santa Fe Opera and has previously interned at Arena Stage and the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.

Kate Symonds-Joy Female performer 

Kate Symonds-Joy was educated at Cambridge University, where she graduated with a First Class Music degree from Gonville and Caius College. She then studied on the Royal Academy Opera course with Lillian Watson and Audrey Hyland, graduating with a DipRAM and the Charles Norman Prize. She was the winner of the 2011 Thelma King Vocal Award and was awarded the Basil A Turner Prize for her role Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for BYO.

Operatic roles include Orlofsky in Opera Danube’s Fledermaus at St Johns Smith Square, Mrs Herring in Britten’s Albert Herring for Britten Pears in Aldeburgh, Noye’s Fludde in Westminster Cathedral, Wild Girl in Delius’ A Village Romeo and Juliet for Wexford Festival Opera, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte for RAO, Koukouli in Chabrier’s L’Etoile for Sir John Eliot Gardiner at the Opera Comique Paris, the title role in Bizet’s Carmen for Regents and Kentish Opera, Medea in Cavalli’s Giasone for RAO conducted by Jane Glover, Ino in Handel’s Semele for RAO with Sir Charles Mackerras, and Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring for RAO directed by John Copley.

Concert work includes Ravel’s Chansons Madecasses at the Purcell Room, Rutter’s Feel the Spirit at the Barbican, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony in Cadogan Hall, Handel’s Messiah with Bordeaux Opera, extracts as Carmen with Sir John Eliot Gardiner at LSO St Luke’s, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the Sinfonia of Cambridge and Verdi’s Requiem in the Royal Albert Hall.

Recitals include the Wigmore Hall as part of the Royal Academy Song Berio’s Sequenza III for nonclassical, Janacek’s Diary of One Who Disappeared at Kings Place, and Berio Folksongs with the Psappha Ensemble. Kate appears as soloist on Giles Swayne’s Stabat Mater (NAXOS), Strauss’ Deutsche Motette (Delphian) and Villa-Lobos’ Magnificat for Contraltino and Choir is soon to be released (Delphian).

Future projects include Tippett’s A Child of our Time in Bath Abbey, Flora in La Traviata in Bermuda, an audio visual operatic installation in the Metropolitan Museum in New York with ERRATICA and Mozart’s Requiem with Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

James Schouten Male performer

James Schouten has been performing and writing on the London circuit as a rock and jazz musician since 2008. Trained originally as a violinist, James changed his focus to work primarily as a classical singer since beginning his studies with Nan Christie at Goldsmiths.  He is a citizen of Canada, UK and the Netherands and is currently completing a masters at Golsmiths College where he also gained his BMus.  He studied singung with Nan Christie (2010-2015) and has worked with many conductors and coaches including David Syrus, Richard Hetherington, Kelvin Lim, Lesley-Anne Sammons, Marcio da Silva, Jonathan Butcher, James Southall, Philip Hesketh, John Andrews, Richard Black and Tim Hooper.

James' operatic roles have included Die Fledermaus (Eisenstein), Opera Gold (June 2015), Xerxes (Elviro/Ariodate) Hampstead Garden Opera (May 2015), La Boheme (Marcello), Dulwich Opera Company (April 2015), Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro), Opera UpClose (Nov 2014, London), Die Zauberflote (Papageno), Woodhouse Opera (Aug 2014), Opera Gold (June 2014), Tosca (Angelotti), Surrey Opera (May/July 2014, London/The Minack Theatre, Cornwall) and Ariadne auf Naxos (Harlekin), Queen's Opera (May 2014, London).

Nick Hugh NSH Arts

Nick is an active musician and holds an ARCM diploma from the London's Royal College of Music in violin performance. He is chairman of Tallis Chamber Orchestra and concert master of Midsummer Opera. Prior to starting NSH Arts, Nick was European Programmes Director for Olin Business School, Washington University in St Louis and before that was Deputy Director of the University of London Careers Service. Nick graduated from Cambridge University with a MA in Natural Sciences, and received his MSc from Imperial College London in Management Science.

Alice Sielle artist

Alice started painting full time in 1973, initially as an abstract painter, subsequently producing figurative works too. Alice has presented over forty exhibitions, as both one man and mixed shows. Her works have been exhibited in venues such as National Museum of Wales (Cardiff), Whitehaven Museum, London’s Thumb Gallery, Brunel University and North House Gallery, among others. Alice’s awards include Southern Arts, Northern Arts, and V&A Purchase Grant for Abbot Hall, Kendal.