Performing Colour / Staging Sound

Spectra Ensemble's debut production was Performing Colour / Staging Sound at Oxford's Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, a multimedia collaboration which presented the aesthetic strands of two early twentieth-century works and their contemporary possibilities.

A staged production of Wassily Kandinsky's colour opera Der Gelbe Klang was paired with Schreker's Kammersymphonie and Lewis Coenen-Rowe's new composition A Cosmic Joke in this sell-out production which stretched the boundaries of lighting design and explored the potential of staging concert works.

Der Gelbe Klang, or The Yellow Sound, was first published in Kandinsky's almanac Der Blaue Reiter in 1911. Although plans for its performance never materialised, the work was eventually completed and performed in 1982 in conjunction with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, with the original score recomposed by the American composer Gunther Schuller. The 40-minute opera is divided into six 'pictures' and is devoid of narrative or plot: its emphasis is on movement, colour and expression. Spectra's version was shortlisted for King's College London's Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Responses to Modernism.

Jacqueline du Pré Music Building
St Hilda's College, Oxford

12-13 May 2015

Creative Team

Cecilia Stinton - Director
Matthew F. Reese - Musical Director
Camille Jetzer - Choreographer
Designer - Holly Muir
Lighting Designer - James Percival
Stage Manager - Jennifer Hurd
Puppetry - Lucie Dawkins


Clare Batterton
Ben Christopher
Veronica Corsi
Antoni Czerwinski
Christine Gou
Patch Harvey
Jennifer Hurd
Camille Jetzer
Catriona Kerr
Anna Sands
Colin Strong
Chloe Wakelin
Anna Zanetti