How to get a soprano airborne – rehearsals for Illuminations

There’s a lot going on in Illuminations, the show that opens the Aldeburgh Festival on 10 June. A chamber orchestra, a soprano and a troupe of circus performers on a set to fill Snape Maltings Concert Hall stage to convey the opulent sounds of Britten’s settings of Rimbaud’s poetry. Over the past few months the ideas on how exactly this will happen are starting to fall into place.

In late January, director Struan Leslie worked with circus performers over an intense 10 days to devise some of the elements of the work, using the strengths of each performer and introducing them to the music in the concert. We chatted to him then to get a better idea of why try to stage Illuminations with circus performers at all.

Our soprano, Sarah Tynan, had her first glimpse of some of the moves and positions that might be involved in the production at a photoshoot (more on that soon), and it was not long before she was off to the the National Centre for Circus Arts to learn how to get sky high herself. With great success!

Sarah Tynan on a trapeze


There will be three performances of Illuminations – on Friday 10, Sunday 12 and Monday 13 June. More info & tickets >>