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Social Convention Presents CONCERTO FOR HAVING FUN WITH ELVIS ON STAGE

In the piece, Corral's live musical score is performed along with the original LP as if they were the pit orchestra for opera or musical theater.

Social Convention Presents CONCERTO FOR HAVING FUN WITH ELVIS ON STAGE

Social Convention is presenting the UK premiere of cutting-edge new digital work, direct from the underground arts scene in Los Angeles. Originally produced for REDCAT, the leading experimental arts venue in LA, Concerto for Having Fun with Elvis on Stage is a unique collaboration from New Music Composer Daniel Corral (Brooklyn Academy of Music, Operadagen Rotterdam Sundance Film Festival), Experimental Opera Director and Performer Alexander Gedeon (currently Minister of Culture at Long Beach Opera) and Video Director Allen Cordell (Producer of cult comedy site Super Deluxe).

Concerto for Having Fun with Elvis on Stage was originally developed for the stage by Gedeon and Corral as a response to the cult 1973 album Having Fun with Elvis on Stage, an odd and sometimes disturbing recording of Elvis speaking on stage between songs at live concerts (no music, just stage banter), a conceit thought up by Elvis's manager, the notorious Colonel Parker, who made the album in order to skirt paying royalties to RCA. One reviewer wrote: "hearing it is like witnessing a car wreck, leaving onlookers too horrified and too baffled to turn away."

In the piece, Corral's live musical score is performed along with the original LP as if they were the pit orchestra for opera or musical theater, while Gedeon's mimed "Elvis" persona becomes a vehicle to explore all things banal and absurd in pop idolatry, race and representation in music, as well as the performative aspects of 'stage presence.'

The reflection of race and representation in art is key to the piece, particularly as both Gedeon (who is "playing" Elvis) and Costume Designer X. Hill are Black. Gedeon says: "Making theater out of this thing boils down to representation. A White guy is representing Black music... I imagined watching a puppet version of Elvis while listening to this record. As we dreamed up this vision we all immediately agreed: we didn't need it to look like Elvis Aaron Presley at all. In some strange way... it felt more accurate."

As the pandemic hit, Corral and Gedeon worked with Video Director Cordell to re-imagine the piece specifically for video and worked to pivot the work formally to speak to the New Medium. Featuring live filmed accompaniment from composer Corral and LA-based contemporary music group Now Hear Ensemble, Elvis is a piece at the forefront of new media emerging in the time of Covid.

This exclusive UK premiere screening will take place at ARTPARTY, a new digital event format from UK production company and Creative Studio SOCIAL CONVENTION. Alongside the exclusive screening, audiences can look forward to interactive artist interviews, a mixalong cocktail bar, a live DJ set and multimedia dance party; alongside hilarious hosting and audience participation from performance and nightlife artist Virgin X , offering a unique eclectic participatory experience.

Tickets are available at www.socialconvention.org from just £5.99. TO find out more about this event and upcoming ArtParty events visit socialconvention.org.


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