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Musical theater - Elaine Mitchener - Peter Maxwell Davies

Peter Maxwell Davies' iconic musical theatre "Eight Songs for a Mad King" from 1968 addresses the relationship between madness and power. The work centres on the psychic disintegration of the British monarch George III and the simultaneous moral disintegration of the colonial power.

Elaine Mitchener's production is inspired by the relationship of previous black performers to the play, including Julius Eastman and William Pearson.

On 25 November, Mitchener will show the play in a new interpretation with choreography by Dam Van Huynh at Radialsystem.

The piece is preceded by the two works "Joy Boy" by Julius Eastman and "Owner's Manual" by Elaine Mitchener.

In her own music theatre creations, Elaine Mitchener uncovers psychological and historical wounds. As only the second female singer, after the Iranian-American mezzo-soprano Haleh Abghari, her interpretation of "Eight Songs for a Mad King" can also be read as a meta-narrative about the culture industry and its continuation of postcolonial violence.

Especially in relation to the absence of non-white, female bodies and voices and their non-representation within a European canon of classical and contemporary music.

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Additional information
Die Aufführung von „Eight Songs for a Mad King“ im Radialsystem ist eine Produktion von Elaine Mitchener in Zusammenarbeit mit MAM.manufaktur für aktuelle Musik und dem Radialsystem, gefördert durch den Musikfonds, aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien. Mit Unterstützung der Radial Stiftung und dem DAAD.

Medienpartnerschaften: Exberliner, Rausgegangen, taz. die tageszeitung, tip Berlin.
Participating artists
Elaine Mitchener (Kuratorin und Performance)
Sarah Saviet (Musikalische Leitung)
Dam Van Huynh (Choreografie und Licht)
Sarah Saviet (Violine)
Michiko Ogawa (Klarinette)
Joseph Houston (Klavier)
Rebecca Lenton (Flöte)
Marie Schmit (Cello)
Rie Miyama Watanabe (Schlagzeug)