Rachael Lloyd is a British mezzo-soprano who sings nationally and internationally in opera and concert. She has sung the role of Cornelia in Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne and the title role in Carmen at the Royal Albert Hall (Raymond Gubbay Ltd.). Recent engagements include the role of Pitti-Sing in the English National Opera revival of Jonathan Miller’s The Mikado and Third Lady in Simon McBurney’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, also with the ENO. In 2016 Rachael sang the role of Alisa in Katie Mitchell’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House, a role she is singing again in an autumn revival this year at the ROH. Other forthcoming roles include that of Miss Jessel in the ENO production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in summer 2018. This year, Rachael sang the dual role of Woman/Mother in the UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s opera The Day After in a staging by English National Opera at Lilian Baylis House, conducted by James Henshaw, directed by Jamie Manton and designed by Camilla Clarke. The opera, with a libretto by April de Angelis, is based on the apocalyptic vision of Ovid in Book 2 of Metamorphoses, where Phaeton, son of Phoebus, makes an attempt to steer the chariot of the sun across the skies, thereby endangering the earth, and ultimately losing his life.
Chrissy Combes spoke to Rachael Lloyd about The Day After at Lilian Baylis House, West Hampstead.
The production photographs from ‘The Day After’ are by Fiona Rich. In addition to being a photographer Fiona is a singer who has been a member of the English National Opera chorus for 31 years (singing under the name Fiona Canfield). All photographs are copyright. Photographic captions are taken from the libretto of ‘The Day After’ by the playwright April de Angelis.
Mark Bruce has choreographed, directed and danced internationally for over 25 years, working with Rosas, Bern Ballet and Ballet Black, among others. He was one of the judges of the contemporary dance section of BBC Young Dancer 2017. Mark formed the Mark Bruce Company in 1991; since then, the company has regularly staged exciting, innovative dance-theatre productions. Mark’s theatre work includes choreography for The Bacchae (directed by Braham Murray) and Antigone (directed by Greg Hersov) at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, and several of his productions, including Helen (1996), Love and War (2010) and Medea for Bern Ballet (2011) have drawn on themes from myth and Greek tragedy. The Mark Bruce Company’s production of Dracula in 2013 won the Sky Arts South Bank Award, while in 2014 at the National Dance Awards, Jonathan Goddard received the Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer for his role as Dracula, and the company won the Best Independent Company Award. Last year, the Mark Bruce Company staged a production of The Odyssey, which toured London and the South West. Chrissy Combes spoke to Mark Bruce about the production at Wilton’s Music Hall in March 2016. Since the interview Hannah Kidd (Penelope in the production) was nominated for the Outstanding Female Performance Award by the Critics’ Circle at the 17th Dance Awards, and Eleanor Duval (Circe) was included in Top Ten Best Dance of 2016 by Luke Jennings, Dance critic of The Observer.
Emma Bridges introduces this special issue of Practitioners' Voices in Classical Reception Studies, which features nine interviews and essays on the theme of 'Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century'.
Anna Parker is an artist who lives in Gothenburg, Sweden. She works primarily with mixed media such as found objects, installations and digital prints, with an emphasis on matters of materiality and embodiment. Some of her recent work focuses on reinterpretations of the mythical stories told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses; on June 19th 2016, she exhibited three pieces inspired by Ovid at a duo-exhibition entitled Epitaph, with Sweden-based artist Melanie Wiksell, and here Anna talks about her work for the exhibition. This essay is based on a talk entitled ‘Stranger still are waters charged: Metamorphosing Ovid’s Salmacis and Hermaphroditus (Ov. Met. 4.285-388) and Pluto and Proserpina (Ov. Met. 5.385-424)’ which Anna gave at the colloquium ‘Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century’. The colloquium was held at the Open University’s London centre on 7th July 2016.
Frances Eley is an Associate Lecturer in Classical Studies and Archaeology for the Open University, and has a particular interest in ancient religion. As well as researching the modern reception and reconstruction of Greek and Roman religious ritual she is also a regular guest speaker for the Fintry Trust (an educational charity for the promotion of ideal philosophy and religion), with her 2018 programme including sessions on Celtic Mythology and Ancient Mystery Traditions. She is a scheduled guest speaker at the 2018 International Goddess Conference.
This discussion with Emma Bridges developed from a presentation, entitled ‘Thoroughly Modern Maiden: Artemis Myth and Ritual in Twenty-First Century Kent’, which Frances gave at the colloquium ‘Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century’ held at the Open University’s London centre on 7th July 2016.
Laura Martin-Simpson and Rachel Bagshaw are co-founders of Blazon Theatre, a company devoted to producing work by and about women. In collaboration with the writer Paula B. Stanic they developed ICONS, a play based on the myth of the Amazons.
Laura trained as an actor at RADA and was nominated for the Best Actress Award at the Iris Film Festival for her lead role in the film The Adored. She has performed Shakespeare as well as working in the research, development and performance of new writing; including with Theatre Delicatessen, where she was involved in exploring the concept of interactive theatre and the theatrical space. Other credits include: Nottingham Playhouse, Young Vic, and roles in Holby City and Ashes to Ashes. Laura also has a degree in Classical Studies from the Open University.
Rachel has directed a wide range of plays, including both new writing and existing works, for theatres including the Young Vic and Paines Plough. She was Resident Assistant Director (ACE) at the Young Vic from 2010 – 2011. She currently reads for the Royal Court and is a director for the National Theatre Connections programme, as well as teaching at drama schools including RADA and Mountview.
On 7th July 2016, at the colloquium ‘Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century’ (held at the Open University’s London centre), Laura, along with Ronke Adekoluejo, gave a rehearsed reading of scenes from ICONS. After the reading Laura and Rachel participated in a discussion about their work. This piece is a transcript of the discussion, which was hosted by Emma Bridges, and which took place before and after the rehearsed reading on 7th July 2016; it also includes some questions and comments from the audience.
Maciej Paprocki is an academic whose current research examines depictions of political tensions between the families of Zeus and Hyperion in Ancient Greek literature. Since November 2015 he has been a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Distant Worlds Graduate School (Münchner Zentrum für Antike Welten) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München. He has a keen interest in ancient Greek political theology, especially in the assignation and transferral of divine powers, rebellions against Zeus and the ontology of Ancient Greek godhood; he has also previously worked on research in both cultural studies (on concepts such as the body politic metaphor in English and American culture) and desert road archaeology (examining the road links between Roman Egypt, oases and neighbouring lands).
Between April 2013 and February 2015, Maciej was also a member of the Alientrap Games team, where, as Mythology Consultant, he helped to design their latest project, Apotheon™, a 2D platform action-RPG game done in a black-figure vase art style. He acted as a consultant on the game narrative/story as well as co-designing characters and writing dialogues. This interview with Emma Bridges developed from a presentation which Maciej gave at the colloquium ‘Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century’ which was held at the Open University’s London centre on 7th July 2016.
Amy McCauley is a poet based in Manchester. Her work has been published widely in magazines and anthologies, including Best British Poetry 2015 (Salt), Best British and Irish Poets 2016 (Eyewear), The Poetry of Sex (Viking), and Hallelujah for 50ft Women (Bloodaxe). Amy was the recipient of a Northern Writers’ Award for 2016, works as Poetry Editor for New Welsh Review, and has a PhD in Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University. Amy’s Auto-Oedipa reinterprets and regenders the Oedipus myth in the context of a modern seaside resort town and several millennia of philosophical and theatrical tradition. It began appearing in leading poetry journals in 2014 and will be published by Guillemot Press in 2018 under the title Oedipa. Other current projects include a book of essays (Propositions) on language, violence and desire, and a novel-in-verse about Joan of Arc.
Gareth Prior is a poet, librettist and reviewer based in Oxford. His poem-essay Erinys: Three Studies (Oystercatcher Press, 2016) looks at Francis Bacon’s paintings in the light of his lifelong engagement with Greek tragedy; his collection of poems ibant obscuri (forthcoming from Knives Forks and Spoons Press) recreates a journey into the ancient underworld across different voices and time periods. In 2014 he co-edited, with Claire Trévien, the anthology Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History. Gareth's libretto for Saffron Hall's inaugural children's opera The Glass Knight took the structure of 5th century BCE Athenian tragedy and applied it to a medieval local legend, compressing 500 years of a town's history into a single day.
Gareth interviewed Amy about her Auto-Oedipa as part of the Open University’s colloquium, Remaking Ancient Greek and Roman Myths in the Twenty-first Century, which was held in London on 7th July 2016. Since then, the two poets have continued their discussion, some of which is captured in this follow-up to the colloquium.
Malcolm Atkins is a composer and performer who combines his creative practice with research into compositional strategies; he often looks at music from a cross-cultural perspective or in terms of how it differs from other creative arts. He views artistic work as an integral part of both expression and education. Based in Oxford, he has worked to set up environments for creative engagement in the community in which he lives. He has also composed extensively for dance and in word setting (particularly for contemporary poetry), and performs in various bands. Malcolm has a degree in Classics from the University of Oxford, a Diploma in Music from the Open University and an MA and PhD in Composition from Oxford Brookes University.
This essay, in which Malcolm discusses his work with Avid for Ovid - a group of performers who reinterpret ancient myth through dance and music – is based on his presentation at the colloquium ‘Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century’, which was held at the Open University's London Centre on 7th July 2016.
Jo Balmer is a poet, classical translator, scholar and literary critic. Her first degree was in Classics and Ancient History at University College, London, and she later completed a PhD in Translation and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Her published poetry includes, most recently, her collection The Paths of Survival (Shearsman 2017) and Letting Go (Agenda Editions 2017), a sequence of 30 mourning sonnets. Jo has spoken to PVCRS about some of her earlier work in the past, in 2010 and 2013.
This conversation, between Jo, Fiona Cox and Elena Theodorakopoulos, took place at the colloquium ‘Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century’ which was held at the Open University’s London centre on 7th July 2016.
Howard Hardiman is a research-led artist based on the Isle of Wight (UK) who works in a range of media including digital art, pen and pencil drawings. He has also written and illustrated graphic novels including Badger (2008) and The Lengths (2013). His 2015 exhibition Mythology, hosted at Brading Roman Villa on the Isle of Wight, was a series of twelve digitally-created images emerging from his engagement with classical myths.
This interview with Emma Bridges was recorded via Skype from Howard’s studio on the Isle of Wight on 10th October 2016. It is one of a series which was recorded for Practitioners’ Voices in Classical Reception Studies as a result of the colloquium ‘Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century’ which was held at the Open University’s London centre on 7th July 2016.
Portrait image by Julian Winslow.
Mercedes Aguirre is a scholar who works on Greek mythology; she is also an author who writes short stories and novels. Born in Madrid, she has a doctorate in Classical Philology and is a lecturer at the Department of Greek Philology at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, as well as running courses and workshops on creative writing. She is also a visiting Fellow at the University of Bristol and has been elected a Life Member at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. Several of her works of fiction are inspired by ancient Greek mythology, but are set in the contemporary world; these include her volume Relatos míticos del mundo cotidiano/Mythical Tales of the Everyday World, which was published in 2010 as a bilingual Spanish/English edition.
This interview with Emma Bridges was recorded in London on 8th December 2016. It is one of a series which was recorded for Practitioners’ Voices in Classical Reception Studies as a result of the colloquium ‘Remaking ancient Greek and Roman myths in the twenty-first century’ which was held at the Open University’s London centre on 7th July 2016.
Marguerite Johnson introduces this special issue of Practitioners’ Voices in Classical Reception Studies, which features conversations with three Australasian practitioners: Phillip Mann, Anna Jackson and Ben Ferris.
Phillip Mann was born in North Yorkshire, and studied Drama and English at Manchester University. He has worked extensively in Theatre in Europe and America and established the first programme of Drama Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in 1970, where he was later made Professor of Drama. Recently he has been appointed MNZM (Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit). He takes a special pleasure in directing new plays and in finding ways of making Greek Classical Drama available to modern audiences. In addition to his theatre work, Phillip Mann is a freelance writer and has published Science Fiction novels as well as essays and works for younger readers.
This interview with John Davidson was recorded in Wellington on 21st October 2016.
Anna Jackson is a New Zealand poet whose six collections include Catullus for Children (2003) and I, Clodia (2014). She has an article, ‘Catullus in the Playground’ in Living Classics, ed. Stephen Harrison (OUP, 2009) and two articles on writing in response to the Classics coming out in 2017, ‘Clodia through the looking-glass,’ in Antipodean Antiquities (Bloomsbury) and ‘I, Clodia: I had a dream I was a ghost’ in From Athens to Aotearoa (Victoria University Press). An Associate Professor in English at Victoria University of Wellington, she has published several academic books on topics ranging from Children’s Gothic to Verse Biography.
This interview with Maxine Lewis was recorded on January 25th 2016 at the University of Auckland.
Photograph by Elvira Edmonds.
Ben Ferris is a film writer/director whose films have screened at festivals throughout the world (in Paris, Athens, New York, Tokyo, Karlovy Vary, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Skopje, Singapore, Sydney). His short film The Kitchen (2003) won the Grand Prix at the Akira Kurosawa Memorial Short Film Festival in Tokyo in 2005, and his short film Ascension (2004) won the Grand Prix at the 4th One Take Film Festival in Croatia in 2004.
His debut feature film Penelope, an Australian-Croatian co-production, screened in National Competition at the 56th Pula Film Festival in Croatia in 2009, and won a Van Gogh Award for Best Fantasy Film at the Amsterdam Film Festival in 2010. His second feature film, 57 Lawson (2016), captures daily life in a social housing building in Redfern, under the shadow of impending development. Ben is currently the Artistic Director of the Sydney Film School which he co-founded in 2004. He was the curator of the Sydney Cinémathèque in 2015, and his writings on cinema have been published worldwide in both French and English.
This interview with Leanne Glass was recorded via Skype on 13th January 2016.