(Warning: Adult subject matter and childish use of rude and inappropriate language)
Listen to Ubu
Here are a few short excerpts from our June workshop. Thanks again to all of the performers, and to our guests for their support!
Scene 1: Ubu and Mere Ubu argue…Mere Ubu persuades Ubu to kill the King of Poland and take his place on the throne.
Scene 6: The former Queen of Poland laments the loss of her throne.
Scene 10: Ubu and Mere Ubu sail away, leaving the wreckage of war and their disastrous rule behind them.
Performer credits: Julia Morson, soprano: Mere Ubu; Vania Chan, soprano: Queen of Poland; Peter Thompson, baritone: Pere Ubu; Erika Reiman, piano; Aya Miyagawa, violin; Gordon Cleland, cello. Recording: Ryan Harper.
Ubu Roy Workshop
A full-cast workshop was held this past weekend…the piece is coming together! Thank you to everyone who contributed to this amazing session. Stay tuned for clips from our recording, and news about upcoming performances of Ubu Roy!
Clockwise from left: Katerina Autochkina; Peter Thompson & Julia Morson, Vania Chan & Arieh Sacke photos: Alex Thompson
Ubu Roy is a new one-act comic chamber opera by Peter Thompson. Ubu Roy is a political satire, based on the notorious Absurdist play, Ubu Roi, by Alfred Jarry. It is the story of Père Ubu, a stupid, lazy, and gluttonous nobody, whose strength and intellectual prowess exist only in his own self-obsessed imagination. Goaded by by his equally selfish and rapacious partner, Mère Ubu, Ubu improbably manages to assassinate the King of a mythologized Poland, and place himself on the throne. The two destroy everything of value around them, before literally sailing away when things go sideways, leaving the wreckage of war and misery behind them.
The world is filled with shit! The sky is filled with shit! The toilet’s filled with shit! And the bottle is empty! -Père Ubu
You’re a pile of shit yourself, Père Ubu! – Mère Ubu
Listen to Ubu Roy – Scene 1
Ubu Roy is emphatically not grand opera. It is silly, rude, and approachable. It is composed for a smaller theatre environment, where the audience and performers have a much more intimate connection, and subtleties of movement and vocal intonation can more effectively communicate the characters and plot.
The music follows the rise and fall of Père and Mère Ubu in a clownish style strongly influenced by the Commedia Dell’Arte. The text (in English) is deliberately childish, earthy and rude, eschewing, and sometimes mocking, archaic dramatic traditions. Both text and music are intended to be colourful, enjoyable, and engaging to audiences with little or no experience of opera or classical music.
We will be workshopping Ubu Roy in the Spring of 2018, and presenting several concert performances of Ubu Roy for the public in Toronto and Hamilton.
Recording Credits: Christine Chesebrough, violin; Gordon Cleland, cello; Erika Reiman, piano; Julia Morson, Mère Ubu, Peter Thompson, Père Ubu