‘Several people have told me essentially this same story about the still, sad music of Pärt – how it became, for them or for others, a vehicle of solace. One or two such anecdotes seem sentimental; a series of them begins to suggest a slightly uncanny phenomenon.’
Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 2002
Two of Scotland's foremost performing groups present a co-production that sets Arvo Pärt's spiritual and mesmeric Tabula Rasa (as well as Spiegel im Spiegel and Fratres) in a theatrical context, exploring the recognised role of the piece in the care of patients during their final days.
With musicians forming an integral part of the drama, this visionary production explores the documented role of Pärt’s haunting piece, which has come to be known - and used - as a profound and transcendental piece of music. It is a life-affirming exploration of care, humanity, suffering - and the uplifting power, and endless importance, of art.
'intense and beautiful conversation between human consciousness and the universe.'
**** THE SCOTSMAN full review
'This is a beautiful production. As director, co-writer and designer, Matthew Lenton has created a visually stunning tribute to a human life and the people who care for it in its final days.'
**** THE WEE REVIEW full review
'The ambitious combination of Vanishing Points’s challenging words and the Scottish Ensemble’s sensitive interpretation of the music was profound and moving with touches of black humour... Generally, the music enhanced the words although they went different ways at times, but combining with the visuals produced a thoughtful and poignant performance, greater than the sum of its parts.'
'pause for thought among the pain'
**** THE HERALD full review
'a hypnotic hybrid... The musical interludes complement these passages of text, allowing space to contemplate the questions raised by the story, around care and compassion and what it means to live meaningfully and die with dignity. As this is Vanishing Point, the production is also visually gorgeous, lit in subtle shades by Kai Fischer, with the performers fading in and out of the space, like ghosts.'
**** THE TIMES full review
Conceived, directed, co-written & designed by Matthew Lenton
Musical direction by Jonathan Morton
Music Arvo Pärt*
Lighting Designer Kai Fischer
Creative Associate & Co-writer Pauline Goldsmith
Design Assistant Fraser Lappin
Performers Pauline Goldsmith & Sarah Short
Violin: Jonathan Morton, Cheryl Crockett, Daniel Pioro, Clio Gould, Joanne Green, Laura Ghiro
Viola: Jane Atkins, Andrew Berridge
Cello: Alison Lawrance, Naomi Pavri
Double Bass: Diane Clark
Piano: Sophia Rahman
Selections from Snow, by and copyright to Marcus Sedgwick, are used in the performance with permission. Read Marcus's blog about seeing the show here.
*Tabula Rasa, Spiegel Im Spiegel, Fratres, Für Alina. Music by Arvo Pärt. By arrangement with Universal Edition A.G Wien.
Production Manager Fiona Fraser
Stage Manager Lee Davis
Deputy Stage Manager Alison Reid & Matthew Clayton
Assistant Stage Manager Kara Jackson
Lighting Technician Andy Gannon
Sound Designer & Technician Amir Sherhan
Costume Supervisor Sophie Ferguson
Set Build Big House
Vanishing Point is Scotland’s foremost artist-led independent theatre company, internationally acclaimed for its distinctive, groundbreaking work.
The UK’s leading string orchestra, Scottish Ensemble is a group of outstanding musicians championing music written for strings, becoming increasingly known for its bold, adventurous collaborations with artists from other genres and forms.