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Cabaret of Souls at UCLA
6/26/2010 (updated 6/26/2010)



Richard Thompson returns to Royce Hall for the West Coast premiere of his eclectic
"Cabaret of Souls" (Nov. 19), which mixes darkly comedic theatricality with a concerto,
composed in honor of legendary bassist Danny Thompson.

From the Guardian, May 30th, 2010:

"This is my new project. It involves lots of people, which is always good. We love to spend money. It's a rhythm section, five singers and a string orchestra. It's hard to say what it is. It's not a song-cycle, it's not a musical play, it's not an opera. To be pretentious, one might call it an oratorio, or how about a "folkatorio"? It's set in a kind of purgatory, a bit like the old Greek underworld, a grey place where souls are hanging around. The keepers of the underworld are very cynical and bored and decide to stage a talent contest for these lost souls. They drag them one by one out of the darkness to sing songs reflecting their former lives and characters. After each character sings, the keepers of the underworld sing a parody song, an answer song. So it's a lot of songs. It's 22 songs and about 32 sections of music. It runs about 80 minutes. Fun for all the family. It'll be the first time it's been seen in Europe. There's only been one performance, which was at Penn State College in Pennsylvania last year. Because it requires a lot of people it's quite a hard thing to put on so we're very happy to have the opportunity to put it on. This performance will be much better than the first performance, and we hope to have one or two more performances this year. It's fun to do, it's supposed to be funny, it's a satirical piece."

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