A dissatisfied man digs down from his garden to hell, then all the way up to heaven in search of meaning. Richard Ayres’ new semi-staged music theatre piece No. 50 (The Garden) is an irreverent and darkly comic tale for our age, inspired by the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Ayres’ distinctive musical style of extremes and eccentric humour is matched by the projected animations and illustrations by Martha Colburn which accompany the work. No. 50 - The Garden was created to mark the London Sinfonietta's 50th Anniversary.
...textures of beguiling beauty and passages of devastating simplicity alongside impossibly dense ensemble writing and angry outbursts of techno and trance. It was superbly performed. The Guardian
Pungent, blaring, cartoonish and often sliding into vaudeville-style refrains, the piece uses the virtuosic London Sinfonietta in short sharp bursts that perfectly match the sardonic thrusts of [Ayre's] libretto. " The Times
Genre: For orchestra, voice, electronics, and projection
Orchestration: 1/picc.0.1+bass/contra.1 1.1.0.E 188.8.131.52.1 1 perc 1 keyboard + electronics + film + solo bass = 12 players + solo bass + conductor + sound engineer & visuals projection
Commissioned: London Sinfonietta and Asko|Schönberg with initial development funded by The Royal Opera.
World Premiere: 5 September 2018, Utrecht
UK Premiere: 17 April 2019 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London Sinfonietta with Geoffrey Paterson and Joshua Bloom