Dagmar Krause, Anthony Moore, Peter Blegvad ‎– Camera

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An unusual one-off project by all three members of Slapp Happy, this is however not an album by the band who was no more in existence at the time of this recording.
They reunited In 1990 when Blegvad and Moore were commissioned to write an opera for television, which was recorded in 1991 and broadcast on television in 1993. The soundtrack was however not released on CD until 2000.

This opera saw Dagmar as a lone individual figure struggling against the nightmare of bureaucratic intrusion. Dagmar Krause (as Melusina), Anthony Moore (music), Peter Blegvad (words); other featured musicians include The Balanescu Quartet,Terry Edwards and Kate St. John.

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spp1680

spp1680

June 24, 2017
referencing Camera, CD, Album, Nim, BP332CD
No, this is not a Slapp Happy album, and if you come to it expecting it to sound like one you will be disappointed. This is the members of Slapp Happy doing something else entirely: a contemporary chamber opera for television, complete with other classically trained singers, brass and woodwind sections, and the Balanescu string quartet. Libretto/lyrics by Blegvad (who does not sing or play), music composed by Moore (who does not play), and Dagmar Krause singing in the lead role.

The rather existential storyline concerns a woman who has apparently never left her own room/country ("Camera"), and the relationship that develops with Forecast (sung by John Harris), a tax inspector who comes round to investigate her, as they venture out into the world together and are separated by forces beyond their control. As contemporary opera goes it's perfectly fine and interesting, and a very strong performance by Dagmar. Maybe not for everyone, but certainly not a big stretch for fans of Art Bears or Dagmar's Eisler/Brecht recordings, or for readers of Beckett, Ionesco, Kafka, etc. No quirky pop songs, but perfectly good modern classical music.