Eight Songs for a Mad King in the news

BBC Radio 3 – New Music Show
Tom Service presents the latest in new music performance, including a new interpretation of Peter Maxwell Davies’s explosive monodrama, Eight Songs for a Mad King, performed by vocalist Elaine Mitchener with Apartment House ensemble.

The Wire – May 2023
A Cry of Anguish: Eight Songs For A Mad King
David Grundy
Eight Songs remains an intensely visceral piece with the capacity to shock. More than that, though, it prompts reflection on the treatment of mental health and the fraught legacies of empire, issues which are still very much with us.”

Prospect Magazine – 14 July 2023
When classical, rock and jazz music all pondered the meaning of England
Philip Clark
Mitchener inhabited King George’s fracturing identities with an unsettling intensity.”

VAN Magazine – 1 June 2023
A Chained Man’s Bruise
Madness and empire in “Eight Songs for a Mad King”
Benjamin Poore
With one degree of separation, ‘Eight Songs’ records the sound of the injured and dying from a war between colonial powers. Mitchener’s version shows another vector of that violence: the foundational barbarity wreaked by empire on a different set of bodies.”

Tempo – October 2023
Elaine Mitchener/Apartment House, Wigmore Hall, 26 May 2023
Caroline Potter
“Mitchener’s performance was quite simply extraordinary. She held nothing back in her traversal of the enormous vocal range of the work, and her total inhabiting of the character was the enduring memory of the evening.”

The New York Times – 24 May 2023
Madness, Royalty and the Music of Screams
Hugh Morris
Me being onstage as a Black experimental contemporary music vocalist,” Mitchener said, “is in itself a political act.”

28 July 2023

Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King at Wigmore Hall

Elaine Mitchener will become the first woman in the UK to perform Eight Songs...
6 October 2023

Elaine Mitchener & Juliet Fraser at Darmstadt Summer Course 2023

Double Recital Elaine Mitchener and Juliet Fraser at Darmstädter Ferienkurse 2023