Sky in a Small Cage, our latest commission from Rolf Hind, is conceived as a contemporary staged oratorio which tells the story of the extraordinary life of Sufi poet, Rumi – and focusing on his relationship with his master, muse and beloved Shams who was (it is suspected) murdered at the hands of Rumi’s brothers. The story will be told with words written specifically by award-winning poet, Dante Micheaux together with translations of Rumi’s own poetry. An exceptional multi-disciplinary cast and mixed ensemble will bring each dramatic tableau to life using song, musical interludes and dance.
Drum sound rises on the air, its throb, my heart. A voice inside the beat says, ‘I know you’re tired, but come. This is the Way.’ Rumi
Lone flames burning near each other sometimes meet; come together without fear to share the air – beloved’s feat when two the same endear. Dante Micheaux
We are developing the piece in partnership with the Barbican and Copenhagen Opera Festival ahead of premiere performances in autumn 2024. We are currently recruiting for a cast of six ensemble singers by open call - click here for more information.
Composed by Rolf Hind
Text for music by Dante Micheaux
With additional text from Jelaluddin Mohammed Rumi
Dramaturgy and direction Frederic Wake-Walker
Music Director Aaron Holloway-Nahum
Movement Director Rosabel Huguet
Designer Sasha Balmazi-Owen
The Narrator – Elaine Mitchener
Rumi – James Hall
Shams – Yannis François
Kerra (Rumi’s wife) / The Shaman of the birds – Loré Lixenberg
Onstage musicians - Athelas Sinfonietta (Copenhagen) and Riot Ensemble (London)