As part of London’s yearly opera festival, on August 23 and 24, Opera in the City will showcase WEAR — the complex, emotive and experimental work of Alastair White and Gemma A. Williams.
An “opera of fashion and apocalypse,” as White herself deems it, WEAR follows the story of a designer displaying their last collection while the world around them slowly disintegrates. Mixing elements of fashion, dance and music, White, the young Scottish composer and writer – in tandem with co-director and fashion curator Williams — has created the perfect canvas for contemporary music and sci-fi to blend together.
During the outstanding visual and auditive experience that is WEAR, bodies gracefully entangle within an artistic scenery. Performers and dancers elegantly meet and sing in costumes that marry contemporary music and theatre with high fashion as the arrival of one of the designer’s old friends leads them to reminisce about their lives and the meaning imbued in the pieces they have created. Nearing the end of the world, in a future where the commercial use of time-machine technology has ripped the universe apart, all that remains are the objects we have created.
WEAR is not only an opera or a fashion exhibition but a genuine show of rare imagination and experimentation. “From designed garments on mannequins to costumes worn by the performers and dancers to the original textiles onstage as set dressing, this is as much experimental opera as disruptive and immersive fashion presentation,” Williams herself explains.
Shortlisted for a Scottish Award for New Music, the creative spirits of Alastair White, Gemma. A. Williams, designer Derek Lawlor, and choreographer Max Gershon shine bright in WEAR as they explore the physical and emotional repercussions of the works we produce, the ties we have with others and the strength that lies in between.
Buy tickets for the “WEAR” shows at the Bridewell Theatre on August 23 and 24 here.
words. Hugo Scheubel