Award-winning guitar virtuoso, songwriter and British folk-rock legend Richard Thompson gathers a troupe of musical and theatrical cohorts for the much anticipated West Coast Premiere of his satirically themed rock oratorio Cabaret of Souls at Royce Hall Friday November 19 at 8 p.m.
Direct from London’s prestigious Meltdown Festival, the stunning Cabaret of Souls features an original score, entirely new songs and is arguably Thompson’s finest and most ambitious work to date. Cabaret of Souls is set in the Underworld, where cynical and powerful “Keepers” drag unsuspecting souls from the darkness to the stage to reluctantly perform songs defending their human character and existence.
Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of all time, Richard Thompson is the recent recipient of an Ivor Novello Award for Songwriting, the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, the Orville H Gibson Guitar award and the 2010 Mojo Les Paul Award. Thompson’s songs have been recorded by such artists as Elvis Costello, Los Lobos, Bonnie Raitt and Robert Plant on his current Band of Joy CD, and he has composed numerous soundtracks, among them the score for Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man.
Los Angeles fixture, humorist, actor and entertainer Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap, KCRW’s Le Show) provides vocals and narration alongside his singer-songwriter wife and fellow frequent Thompson collaborator Judith Owen. Rounding out the cast are in-demand percussionist Debra Dobkin, acclaimed bassist David Piltch, Pete Zorn on flute and vocals and the Idyllwild Academy Arts Orchestra, conducted by Peter Askim.
Originally commissioned by the International Society of Bassists, Cabaret of Souls premiered in June of 2009 at the ISB conference in Pennsylvania. This summer, Thompson debuted the piece in the U.K. at London’s Royal Festival Hall for the June 2010 Meltdown Festival, which he curated.
Single tickets are on sale now. UCLA Live at Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood. Monday, November 19 at 8 p.m. $28-53 ($15 UCLA students). (310) 825.2101 www.uclalive.org
Richard Thompson’s Cabaret of Souls featuring Harry Shearer, Judith Owen, Pete Zorn & more
11/19/10 at 8 p.m.
$28/38/53 ($15 UCLA students)
Cabaret of Souls was composed by Richard Thompson as a witty musical satire on human foibles, all taking place in the Underworld. This West Coast premiere features Richard Thompson with musical and theatrical cohorts Harry Shearer, Judith Owen, Pete Zorn, Debra Dobkin, David Piltch, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra, conducted by Peter Askim.