Jilted Lovers and Mad Kings

Take a multimedia tour through the jagged world of the deeply insane, exploring the aftermath of a broken mind's civil war. In these twisted worlds, a jilted recluse keeps her wedding-day house untouched for thirty years — in case her fiancé finally shows up — and mad King George III talks to canaries like small golden confidants. Miss Donnithorne's Maggot and Eight Songs for a Mad King present the echo of two deranged minds explored through dance, music, singing, lighting and film. These two pieces, written by composer Peter Maxwell Davies, are blended together as an exploration of the depths of human seclusion, lunacy and decaying intellect. "They're written as companion pieces," says Randall Scotting, co-artistic director of the FusionChamber ensemble. "In the music world they're known as urban legends, because people never perform them."

The event opens with Miss Donnithorne's Maggot — which is musically and visually tamer than Eight Songs — accented with black, white and bright-red lighting and highlighted with parts of a documentary film projected in the background. After a brief transition, Eight Songs delves deeper into detached lunacy. "It's more schizophrenic in every way: musically, lighting and range," says Scotting. "When you look at the written music, it's like you don't even know where to begin. It spans about four octaves vocally, which really requires the full range of your voice."

It's all happening tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in the ATLAS Black Box Theatre on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for students. For more information, call 303-709-6074 or go to www.fusionchamber.org.
Thu., March 20, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., March 21, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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Mark Dragotta