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 Post subject: Sophie/Stateless by Cathy Marston
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2003 3:13 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review of this production at The Linbury Studio from The Times.

Quote:
THE young choreographer Cathy Marston is the first artistic associate to take part in the new ROH2 initiative intended to bring added vibrancy into the Royal Opera House compound. Her latest salvo, seen over the weekend in the Linbury Studio Theatre, is a vivid example of what she is up to.
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And from The Guardian.

Quote:
In terms of scale, let alone subject matter, stories don't get much more daunting than Sophie's Choice. With William Styron's 600-page novel already having been adapted as a Hollywood film and a four-hour opera, Cathy Marston's aim to reduce it to a 40-minute ballet sounds audacious, if not plain skimpy
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<small>[ 19 January 2003, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Sophie/Stateless by Cathy Marston
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 3:08 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The telegraph.

Quote:
Linking ballets and operas on the same subject is such an obviously pleasing thing to do for audiences and performers that it is odd how scarce such events are at the Royal Opera House. One salivates at the thought of seasons that would pitch La Traviata and Marguerite and Armand together, or two faces of Romeo and Juliet (not to mention Massenet and MacMillan Manon Lescauts, as they did at the Paris Opera recently), or more esoteric theming on composers. Still, this season the Royal Opera House did come up with a joint creative enterprise on William Styron's Holocaust novel Sophie's Choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Sophie/Stateless by Cathy Marston
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2003 4:29 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
From The Independent.

Quote:
Integration is now the state of play at the Royal Opera House, so when you go to an event at, say, the Linbury Studio Theatre, the chances are that it will be connected to activity on the main stage. The zanily named ROH2 department has been formed to drive this new thinking, and the choreographer Cathy Marston is the first of several associate artists to be appointed. Marston's commissioned double bill, Sophie and Stateless, ties in with Nicholas Maw's opera Sophie's Choice, based on the novel by William Styron, which premiered last month.

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 Post subject: Re: Sophie/Stateless by Cathy Marston
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 5:45 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A novel experience
Book, film, opera... now see the ballet of that agonising choice. Jann Parry reports for The Observer.


How can dance deal with untruth? Film audiences understand that flashbacks may be misleading and dream sequences pure fantasy, but balletgoers still expect to be told a story from a single (true) perspective, joining up the dots from A to B to C.

Choreographers do their best to give clues that all may not be what it seems, mostly through their choice of music and design. Their greatest aide, though, is film or video. Projected images provide a vital layer of illusion, as Terry Braun showed in his film contribution to Cathy Marston's Sophie. As part of a new Opera House scheme, ROH2, Marston was commissioned to create a ballet for the Linbury Studio downstairs, inspired by the same Sophie's Choice novel (by William Styron) as Nicholas Maw's opera for the main stage.

Marston distilled Sophie's saga into the heroine's haunting by her Auschwitz past as she chooses to end her life. Antonia Franceschi as Sophie seemed to embrace and reject ghosts of her younger self, clutching at shadows.

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Sophie/Stateless
David Dougill for The Sunday Times

ROH2 is the new name for the Opera House’s development programme, under Deborah Bull’s directorship, to commission fresh and cross-boundary work for the Linbury Studio Theatre and other spaces. This produced The Wind in the Willows before Christmas, but very different was last weekend’s double bill by the choreographer Cathy Marston, a new ROH associate artist.

Marston is keen on literary subjects, and both pieces, Sophie and Stateless, are her responses to William Styron’s novel Sophie’s Choice, also linking in to the new opera. Leaving out entirely the “choice” (over Sophie’s children at Auschwitz), Marston explores Sophie’s memories of her relationships, and what is truth, with her father, the Nazi commandant and her lover, Nathan.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2101-543672,00.html


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 Post subject: Re: Sophie/Stateless by Cathy Marston
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 3:29 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
From The Independent.

Quote:
That is a charge no one could make of the double bill in the Linbury two nights earlier. Cathy Marston, "associate artist" of the new creative initiative at the Opera House, was asked to make a work linked to Nicholas Maw's opera Sophie's Choice in the main house. The original novel is 600 pages long. Maw's opera weighs in at four hours. But Marston is too clever to let that worry her. By filtering large sections of the plot through video sequences that run alongside the live movement (Sophie suffering her father's bullying, Sophie seducing the Auschwitz commandant, Sophie swallowing cyanide), she is able to concentrate on what she sees as her real theme: the impossibility of escape from memory.

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