This week a groundbreaking collaboration with English National Opera, 'Effigies of Wickedness' opened at The Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, featuring mezzo soprano Katie Bray.
Described as "a cabaret of riotous, witty, and shockingly prophetic songs banned by the Nazis in the 1930s", the production features censored and subversive music by artists from Brecht and Weill to Schoenberg. Katie Bray performs alongside fellow opera singer Peter Brathwaite and cabaret artists Le Gateau Chocolat and Lucy McCormick.
Katie has received fantastic reviews from the critics:
Four characterful and accomplished singers – the classically trained baritone Peter Brathwaite (who originated the show’s concept) and mezzo-soprano Katie Bray…Bray is splendid too in The Ballad of Marie Sanders - Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
incisive vocals come from the rising operatic stars Katie Bray and Peter Brathwaite. Together they convey not just the songs’ mordant wit, but the growing desperation, verging on dread, that their original performers must have felt. - Richard Morrison, The Times
The mezzo-soprano Katie Bray is in soul-searing form in her climactic delivery of “The Ballad of Marie Sanders” written by Brecht and Eisler in response to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 which forbade sexual relations between Jews and “Aryans”. - Paul Taylor, The Independent
They’re prodigious talents, and when the four attack a song together they fill the space thrillingly with mordant, subversive verse that burrows into you from all angles…Bray vaulting through the heavens above. It is particularly thrilling to hear the two opera singers up close, and also to see the pair let their hair down a bit and hold their own against the gargantuan personalities they’ve been paired with - Andrezej Lukowski, Time Out
Mezzo soprano Katie Bray is magnetic - Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard
'Effigies of Wickedness' runs until 9 June and tickets are selling fast! Visit the Gate Theatre's website here for more information.
Images c. Helen Murray