April 2012 monthly round-up
For immediate release: Thursday 1 March 2012

This April the Sydney Theatre Company lead the Barbican’s London 2012 season with Cate Blanchett in Big and Small (Gross und Klein), celebrated Chinese artist Song Dong’s Waste Not installation is open in The Curve, and a screening of Jason and the Argonauts is followed by a conversation between animation experts Nick Park, Mark Waring and Tony Dalton. Look out for the London Palestine Film Festival, our recent Bauhaus: Art as Life exhibition announcement, a performance by legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea with Gary Burton and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam’s first International Associate residency.

April 2012 guide
Download the April events guide pdf


Barbican Weekender: Urban Stories
3-4 March / Barbican Centre / 10am – late
The Barbican Weekender returns with two free action-packed days of dance, theatre and music for anyone and everyone eager to try something new. Themed as Urban Stories, this much anticipated fixture in the Barbican’s calendar coincides with the Centre’s 30th anniversary and is a London 2012 countdown event.
Find out more in our press release


Big and Small (Gross und Klein)
13-29 April / Barbican Theatre / 7:15pm, 4pm, 1:30pm / Press night 14 April
Sydney Theatre Company lead the Barbican’s London 2012 season with Cate Blanchett, the Company’s Co-Artistic Director, in Benedict Andrews’ production of Big and Small (Gross und Klein) by Botho Strauss. This Barbican co-commission has a new English text by Martin Crimp. First staged in 1978, Big and Small whisks audiences down a rabbit hole and into a curious Wonderland-like world where Lotte (Cate Blanchett) is always trying to fit in. Following a break-up with her husband, Lotte finds herself a stranger to her own society and embarks on a search for human connection and a quest for belonging. At each stage in her journey she has unusual encounters with different people – strangers and acquaintances, family members, an old friend, but in this comedy of tragic solitude, reality itself keeps changing and Lotte becomes increasingly alienated from a culture she struggles to recognise. Like Carroll’s Alice, sometimes Lotte is too big for her surroundings and sometimes too small to be noticed within them
Read the Big and Small press release


London Palestine Film Festival
20-25 April/Cinema 1/ For further details see our website
Opening with the UK Premiere of Sameh Zoabi’s debut feature, Man Without a Cellphone, the 2012 festival showcases more than 40 works, including a rare journey into the British imperial film archives, Susan Sontag’s striking 1974 film essay on Israel, and brand new drama from Cannes-awardee Tawfik Abu Wael (Atash/Thirst, 2004). With a wealth of filmmakers, critics, and scholars present, and an accompanying groundbreaking exhibition of Palestinian video art, this year’s festival offers London audiences the widest array yet of film and video work on, and from, Palestine and the region.

The festival then continues at the School of Oriental and African Studies and University College London until 3 May – see www.palestinefilm.org for more details.

Jason and the Argonauts (UK/US, 1963, Dir Don Chaffey) + Panel Discussion: Nick Park, Mark Waring and Tony Dalton
26 April / Cinema 1 / 7pm
To mark the publication of Ray Harryhausen’s Fantasy Scrapbook we are delighted to be hosting a 50th anniversary screening of the special effects masterpiece Jason and the Argonauts. This sweeping adventure about Jason's search for the golden fleece and his encounters with mythic gods and monsters is capped with a stirring score by Bernard Herrmann. Following the screening, animation experts Nick Park, Mark Waring and Tony Dalton (curator of the Harryhausen Foundation) will be in conversation.

Massenet’s Manon – Met Opera Live
7 April / Cinema 1 / 5pm
Anna Netrebko’s dazzling portrayal of the tragic heroine in Laurent Pelly’s new production travels to the Met from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Verdi’s La Traviata – Met Opera Live
14 April / Cinema 1 / 6pm
Natalie Dessay stars in Willy Decker’s stunning production, in her first Violetta at the Met. Matthew Polenzani sings Alfredo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky is Germont, and Fabio Luisi conducts.

Beggars of Life (US, 1928, Dir William A Wellman) with live musical accompaniment by the Dodge Brothers (featuring Mark Kermode) and Neil Brand – Silent Film and Live Music Series
29 April / Cinema 1 / 4pm
Featuring an outstanding performance by Louise Brooks as a cross-dressing criminal, Beggars of Life was one of the first sympathetic portrayals of life on the run to emerge from Hollywood. Silent cinema veteran Wallace Beery also stars.

Read the April film highlights release


Coming Soon - Bauhaus: Art as Life
3 May – 12 August 2012 / Barbican Art Gallery
Exploring the world’s most famous modern art and design school, Bauhaus: Art as Life is the biggest Bauhaus exhibition in the UK in over 40 years. From its avant-garde arts and crafts beginnings the Bauhaus shifted towards a more radical model of learning uniting art and technology. A driving force behind Modernism, it further sought to change society in the aftermath of World War 1, to find a new way of living.

This major new Barbican Art Gallery show presents the pioneering and diverse artistic production that make up the school’s turbulent fourteen-year history from 1919 to 1933 and delves into the subjects at the heart of the Bauhaus – art, design, people, society and culture. Bringing together more than 400 works, the show features a rich array of painting, sculpture, architecture, film, photography, furniture, graphics, product design, textiles, ceramics and theatre by such Bauhaus masters as Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer and Gunta Stölzl and students including Anni Albers, T. Lux Feininger, Kurt Kranz, Xanti Schawinsky and Alma Siedhoff-Buscher. Set in a dynamic installation designed by award-winning architects Carmody Groarke with graphic designers APFEL, Barbican Art Gallery is transformed into a series of dramatic and intimate spaces.
Read the Bauhaus press release

Song Dong: Waste Not
15 February – 12 June / The Curve
Waste Not by celebrated Chinese artist Song Dong is now open in The Curve. Comprising over 10,000 household objects collected by Song Dong’s mother over five decades ranging from metal pots and plastic bowls to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes and toys, as well as an original section of the wooden family home, the installation is a tribute to his mother, as well as a meditation on family life during the Cultural Revolution. The activity of saving and reusing objects of all kinds is in keeping with the Communist adage wu jin qu yong – ‘waste not’ – a prerequisite for survival during periods of social and political turmoil.
Read the Song Dong press release

Objects with Stories
15 February – 12 June / Invitation to the public
In response to Song Dong’s installation, Objects with Stories is an online participation project which invites the public to share their thoughts of loved ones – to submit one photograph of an object along with a couple of sentences about the memory of the relationship the object brings to mind. A selection of the stories will feature on www.barbican.org.uk .


The Mountain Goats with Anonymous 4: Transcendental Youth
2 April / Barbican Hall / 7:30pm
Anonymous 4
are famous for their purity of tone and astounding blend, gaining wide recognition for their scholarship and attention to historical context in medieval and early American repertoire. Transcendental Youth features new songs from John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, heard here in special arrangements for voices, piano, and guitar by Owen Pallett. A solo set by the Mountain Goats begins the evening, followed by Anonymous 4 performing selections from their rich catalogue in a programme curated by both Darnielle and A4, and concluding with the collaborative performance.

Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra & Chorus / Gergiev
3 April / Barbican Hall / 5pm – Wagner: Parsifal
4 April / Barbican Hall / 7:30pm – Verdi: Requiem
Valery Gergiev and the St Petersburg-based Mariinsky musicians continue their UK tour with the much-anticipated performances of Wagner’s Parsifal on 3 April and Verdi’s Requiem on 4 April. Joining them for Verdi’s Requiem are Victoria Yastrebova, Olga Borodina, Sergei Semishkur and Ildar Abdrazakov.

Sufjan Stevens/Nico Muhly/Bryce Dessner feat. New Trombone Collective and Navarra String Quartet
9 April / Barbican Hall / 7:30pm
Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly
and Bryce Dessner come together for what promises to be an exceptional collaboration. Also featuring the New Trombone Collective and the Navarra String Quartet, they present the UK premiere of a unique song cycle for voice, string quartet and trombones with vocals from Sufjan Stevens.

Chick Corea & Gary Burton
11 April / Barbican Hall / 7:30pm
Legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea joins forces with vibes player Gary Burton, in a rare reappearance of one of the most absorbing jazz partnerships around .Two of jazz’s longest-standing musical pioneers, they have produced no fewer than three Grammy-Award winning albums together.

Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius
14 April / Barbican Hall / 7:30pm
Since Handel first forged the English-language oratorio, it has held an enduring appeal to composers. Notable for often putting the chorus, rather than the soloists, at centre stage, the art form has been championed by English composers Elgar, Britten and Tippett, as well as Mendelssohn and Haydn, turning it into one of the richest strands of all choral music. Although Elgar never termed The Dream of Gerontius an oratorio it bears many of the traits of the genre, not least in its scoring, for orchestra, chorus and soloists. Commissioned by and premiered at the Birmingham Music Festival in 1900, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform the work with Sarah Connolly, Toby Spence, James Rutherford, conducted by Andris Nelsons.

The Sinking of the Titanic feat. Gavin Bryars Ensemble & Philip Jeck
15 April / Barbican Hall / 8pm
Composed in 1969 and first recorded for Brian Eno’s Obscure label, Gavin Bryars’ The Sinking of the Titanic was inspired by reports that the ship’s string ensemble continued to play the hymn tune Autumn as the vessel sank in April 1912. This special concert marks the 100th anniversary of the tragedy and features projections of archival images curated by Bill Morrison and Laurie Olinder.

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam
22 April - 20 May / Barbican Hall

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam’s first International Associate residency will be led by a venerable trio of conductors - Mariss Jansons , Bernard Haitink and Nikolaus Harnoncourt . This remarkable line-up will take the orchestra through some of its Amsterdam season highlights. On 13 May, Mariss Jansons gives a conducting lecture at LSO St Luke’s. In conversation with Viennese dramaturg and cultural critic Peter Blaha, Jansons explores the art of conducting and rehearsal techniques.

The Importance of Being Earnest
26 April / Barbican Hall / 7:30pm
The Barbican’s biennial series of new opera Present Voices continues in April with the European premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest . The composer’s fifth opera is performed at the Barbican by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, conducted by Thomas Adès and including Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan.

27 April / Barbican Hall / 8pm
Celebrated for her innovative vocal effects, dexterous body percussion style and her ability to create unconventional tunes with catchy melodies, the iconoclastic French singer makes her Barbican debut .

Change of Soloist: St Petersburg Philharmonic / Yuri Temirkanov / Maxim Vengerov
24 March / Barbican Hall / 7:30pm
Please note that Martha Argerich has withdrawn from this concert. She has been replaced by Maxim Vengerov who will perform Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.1. In addition, St Petersburg Philharmonic and their conductor Yuri Temirkanov, perform one of symphonic music's most powerful testimonies, Shostakovich's 7th Symphony ‘Leningrad’.
Read the full programme details .

Just confirmed for May 2012

26 May / Barbican Hall / 8pm
Vinicio Capossela returns to the Barbican Hall on 26 May 2012 and tickets will go on general sale on 3 March. The line-up for the concert performance of Big Star’s legendary Sister Lovers album (28 May, Barbican Hall) will include Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs), Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), John Bramwell (I Am Kloot), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Sondre Lerche, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and Sharon Van Etten.

London Symphony Orchestra highlights
On 1 April the LSO performs Mahler’s 3rd Symphony conducted by Semyon Bychkov. Bychkov made his debut with the Orchestra last season and is joined for this performance by mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotjin and the Ladies of the London Symphony Chorus. On 19 and 21 April Sir Colin Davis conducts the Orchestra in concert performances of Weber’s opera Der Freischutz. They are joined by a cast including Christine Brewer, Sally Matthews, Falk Struckmann and Simon O’Neill. Pierre Boulez makes a welcome return to the LSO on 29 April. From 10am – 5.30pm there is an LSO Discovery Day with access to an LSO rehearsal at the Barbican, followed by discussion and chamber music at LSO St Luke’s. That evening at 7:30pm the Orchestra and Boulez are joined by Christian Tetzlaff for a performance of Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No 1., Scriabin’s Symphony No 4 (Poem of Ecstasy) and Debussy’s Three Nocturnes.
For more information visit www.lso.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Press Information
For further information, images or to arrange interviews contact:
Lorna Gemmell, Head of Communications, +44 207 382 7147,

Caitlin Sinclair, Communications Coordinator, +44 207 382 5274,

Barbican newsroom
All Barbican Centre press releases, news announcements and the Media Relations team’s contact details are listed on our website at www.barbican.org.uk/news/home

About the Barbican
A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Our creative learning programme further underpins everything we do. In 2012 we celebrate the Olympic year with many of our projects forming part of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival – it is also our 30th Birthday year. Over 1.5 million people pass through our doors annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. Our architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, the Pit, Cinema One (with Cinemas Two and Three opening in Beech Street in September 2012), Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory , conference facilities and three restaurants.

The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra ; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra ; Associate Ensembles The Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia , and Associate Producer Serious . Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment , Cheek by Jowl and Michael Clark Company . International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam , New York Philharmonic , Los Angeles Philharmonic , Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center .

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