Newly released – a 20 minute video entertainment from his widely performed opera Dirty Tricks.
Dirty Tricks is an opera about men, exploring some well-documented contemporary business practises and attitudes. In particular it explores some aspects of the continuing highly litigious relationship between two prominent British airline companies and the associated “Dirty Tricks” campaign.
However the opera – perhaps more easily classifiable as a contemporary burlesque – is designed to be perfectly accessible to those unacquainted with these recent events. The text, by Stephen Chance lends the work a Shakespearean tone, which is often tongue-in-cheek.
The cast of 7 do not play individual roles but share a plethora of different parts. The music is sung by 6 baritones always competing with each other is a variety of ways. The only female character in this otherwise testosteronic work played an Air Hostess, in various disguises. The only instrument used is an electric bass guitar, visible throughout.
This is a recording of a workshop-preview from 1997 by the Modern Music Theatre Troupe with Sarah Leonard, soprano; Alan Fairs, Keel Watson, Paul Leonard, Stephen Picton, John Grayson and Richard Pocock, baritones; Martin Elliott, bass guitar, at Spitalfields Market Opera, London. Composed and conducted by Paul Alan Barker.
Dirty Tricks was performed by Modern Music Theatre Troupe and premiered with 5 performances at Spitalfields Market Opera, London, attracting enormous media attention from BBC TV, Radio, magazines and journals.
“This was brilliant and very funny….well worth seeing.” Helen Elsom, OPERA-L
“It seems the pantomime season has begun early this year…” British Airways
Dirty Tricks lasts approximately two hours with an interval and is flexible enough to tour in a variety of different venues. Composers Edition is proud to present two items from the opera available for perusal and purchase:
7 Dirty Sonnets, which is a recomposition for piano of the original electric bass guitar interludes; and
Some Dirty Tricks for soprano and piano intersperses the three arias of the Air Hostess with two of the instrumental interludes, with the electric bass part recomposed for piano.
Paul Alan Barker’s Some Dirty Tricks was commissioned with funds from the Arts Council of England and London Arts Board. BBC TV’s Arena will be broadcasting excerpts both this year and next.
Tags: 7 Dirty Sonnets, Alan Fairs, Arts Council England, BBC TV Arena, Contemporary burlesque, Dirty Tricks, John Grayson, Keel Watson, London Arts Board, Martin Elliott, opera, Paul Alan Barker, Paul Leonard, Richard Pocock, Sarah Leonard, Some Dirty Tricks, Spitalfields Market Opera, Stephen Picton