orango 7 copy

Video design for the critically acclaimed production of Orango, Shostakovich’s unfinished Opera at the Royal Festival Hall.
Dmitry Shostakovich: Orango Prologue orch. Gerard McBurney (European premiere)
(concert performance in Russian with English surtitles)

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts a concert performance of the unfinished satirical opera Orango recently orchestrated by composer Gerard McBurney.

The satirical opera Orango was sketched out while Shostakovich was writing Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. He and his librettists conceived ‘a political lampoon against the bourgeois press’ involving a human-ape hybrid, but when the librettists failed to deliver their script in time for the planned 15th anniversary of the Revolution, the whole thing was dropped.

Philharmonia Orchestra Philharmonia Orchestra Philharmonia Orchestra orango 4 copy orango 5 copy orango 6 copy orango 8 copy orango 9 copy

See below for sections of the video designs with accompanying music.

orango times review

Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, Telegraph review.

5 out of 5 stars
The ape-man Orango was the centrepiece of a massive celebration of Soviet glories, ingeniously suggested on a tiny strip of stage by director Irina Brown, with the aid of back projections of the monstrously hubristic Palace of Soviets (never built, thankfully). The cast, especially Allan Clayton as Orango’s white-coated keeper, all flung themselves into the spirit of the piece, as did the flag-waving Philharmonia Voices at the back.

Philharmonia/Salonen @ Royal Festival Hall, London, Music OMH.com

This semi-staged presentation by director Irina Brown also featured video projections designed by Louis Price, showing contemporary footage from Soviet Russia and animations relevant to the text.