for orchestra, five actors and dancer

Paul Alan Barker

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for orchestra, five actors and dancer

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Composer Paul Alan Barker
Year of Composition 2020
Duration ca.50'

Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-pab1q1


QIQI is designed for young audiences of all ages. It is related to works such as Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf or Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Stoppard and Previn. It reflects on a changing world but it seeks communicate to audiences everywhere beyond the confines of language and avoiding translation and subtitles.

QIQI, involves 5 actors, a dancer and a choir with a 70-piece orchestra. The title reflects the stories told by 5 actors. It was devised with and directed by Claudio Valdés-Kuri and premiered in Mexico, February 2020.

Quichote (Rodrigo Tripp) is the creation of the 17th century author Cervantes; Ibeji are Yoruban twin deities (Fabrina Melón and Edwin Calderón); Quetzalcoatl (Gastón Yanes) is the plumed serpent from Meso-American mythology; Iambe (Xóchitl Galindres) is the Greek Goddess of laughter; The Moon is represented by a choir (Coro Femenino del COMEN, dir. Edgar Gutiérez) and a dancer (Erika Méndez);

The Sun is represented by the orchestra conductor (Luis Manuel Garcia); All their stories are told without words. They are not replaced by mime, but through a pretend language (something akin to the tradition of commedia dell´arte or the grammelot deployed Dario Fo and Franco Raime) and the music. Composer Paul Barker and director Claudio Valdés Kuri worked similarly in their last collaboration, El Gallo, an opera for six actors and two string quartets without words. El Gallo also told stories through music and theatre without real words.

The Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México will be conducted by Rodrigo Macías González. QIQI will be performed in front of audiences unaccustomed to concerts or theatreat the orchestra’s home, the Sala Felipe Villanueva, Toluca, México from 25 – 28 February 2020. It lasts about 50 minutes.