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News - World Premiere of 'Hysteria' by Jocelyn Pook

Melanie Pappenheim, mezzo-soprano and soloist. Film still courtesy of Steven Williams.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Exploring anxiety, voice hearing and now hysteria, Jocelyn Pook presents the final part in her trilogy of works that probe mental health and wellbeing in its many manifestations: Hysteria: A Song Cycle for Singer and Psychiatrist. This new work was commissioned by PS/Y and supported by the Wellcome Trust and Culture&. It concludes Pook’s trilogy, which began with Hearing Voices in 2012 and was followed by Anxiety Fanfare and Variations for Voices in 2014. The latter was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation for Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 and was subsequently recorded and released on NMC Recordings.




The Hysteria song cycle will receive its world premiere at Hoxton Hall on July 14 and is presented as part of PS/Y’s Hysteria programme, which has explored the impact of psychological trauma on the body in visual art, dance and music over the past year.

Hysteria: A Song Cycle for Singer and Psychiatrist explores the impact of trauma and stress on the body through the testimonials of 10 people's experiences of psychosomatic phenomena, alongside conversations with psychiatrist Dr Stéphanie Courtade who has been both clinical advisor and participant in the work. Scored for mezzo-soprano, viola, two cellos and recorded voices, with an accompanying video work by Dragan Aleksić and Georgina Anderson, the music explores health, illness and wellbeing and the relationship between mind and body in contemporary society.

Hysteria: A Song Cycle for Singer and Psychiatrist will be performed by:
Melanie Pappenheim, mezzo-soprano
Laura Moody, cello/voice
Kate Shortt, cello/voice
Jocelyn Pook, viola/voice
Georgina Anderson & Dragan Aleksić, video work/visuals
with the testimonies of Dr Stéphanie Courtade and others

The performance will be followed by a Q&A with Pook, members of the the Dragon Café - Mental Fight Club‘s flagship project – and collaborator Dr Stéphanie Courtade, chaired by PS/Y Artistic Director Errol Francis.


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