TWO CARAVANS at King's Head Theatre autumn 2013
FringeOpera.com - Francesca Wickers - October 2013
The flute is the star of Guy Harries’ imaginative score - written for an array of instruments – which is adventurous with sound without alienating listeners. Haunting Eastern European melodies reflect the characters’ vulnerable moments; at other times, as the strawberry pickers bounce hopefully along the road in their caravan, the music surges with an exotic energy. I’ve never enjoyed contemporary opera more. The production comes at the world from an unusual angle, as new work should, its typecasting and sexual openness bordering on risqué without offending. With the composer himself on the flute and the original author sitting grinning in the front row, this opera is alive in all senses of the word.
RemoteGoat - Aline Waites - 3.10/2013
(4 stars) It is a delightful evening. The music by Guy Harries is very tuneful – yes we do come out singing the final tune! – and manages to inject some Eastern European charm. The libretto by Ace McCarron is always amusing and often downright hilarious.
Time Out London - 10.10.2013 - Jonathan Lennie
[A] zany but fun romantic comedy, with a poignant message about how we treat migrant workers… Harries has created a breezy score for piano and flute.
The Telegraph - 10.10.2013 - Rupert Christiansen
The music… is scored for piano, flute and melodica, it is jaunty and cheerful, with a few wistfully modal folk melodies to provide emotional contrast.
The Stage - 30.9.2013 - George Hall
[D]elivered by the five-strong cast with incredible panache. All of them excel, vocally and dramatically, doubling and tripling up roles as required. Among them, Rosie Middleton (especially as Yola, the Polish gang boss) and
Peter Brathwaite (as Emanuel, a refugee from Malawi) shine particularly brightly; one of his solos - a poignant letter to his sister - is a highlight.
OneStopArts.com - 1.10.2013 - Charlotte Valori
There is humour, there is pathos, there is tension and hilarity, there's a little bit of violence, and there is a lot of very dispiriting sex… I have never seen a more moving depiction of how one society's selfishness oppresses others.
BroadwayWorld.com – 7.10.2013 - Gary Naylor
The music is wonderfully, exotically, Eastern European…
Don't miss the bittersweet tales of the inhabitants of the two eponymous caravans - there's nothing quite like it in town.
MonkeyMattersTheatre.com - 7.10.2013
The challenge for Guy Harries and Ace McCarron on reading Lewycka's 2007 novel, Two Caravans, was how to turn a story about Ukranian strawberry pickers on the run with a stolen caravan, into an opera with all the peaks and troughs the medium demands. Somehow, with a set of steps, a strip of stage, a table and chairs and a cast of five, they've pulled it off. As the East Europeans hit the road with Malawian Christian, Emmanuel, searching for his emigree sister after losing both parents to HIV, we are laughing and sighing.
A sporting cast - the others are Sylvie Gallant, Adam Torrance and Alistair Sutherland - are complimented by Musical Director, Nicola Rose on keyboards. Accompanied by Harries who plays flute, pipes, and other woodwind instruments with a carefree lightness, it's an absorbing two hours.
TWO CARAVANS in Odeon, Zwolle (NL), May 2010
Stentor Zwolle - May 2010
by Margaretha Coornstra
'Composer Guy Harries uses extended tonality, loaded with folk influences: gospel, a touch of klezmer, a bit of milonga. The chameleon-like ensemble with clarinet, accordeon, guitar, double bass and percussion easily switches 'couleur locale' . And even though Harries claims that the composition is based mainly on the text, the results include melodious lines and accessible harmonies.'
David Fenech's audioblog - 17/1/2006
'His voice is captivating, similar at times to that of David Sylvian, and Scott Walker at other moments.'
www.indie-eye.it - 4/6/2006
by Michele Faggi
'Guy Harries's laptop-based music is influenced by an ephemeral world, of glitch, folktronica. Soundscapes, Kurt Weill, Monteverdi, Anton Karas, David Sylvian, Fennesz and maybe a touch of melodrama from the likes of Antony and The Johnsons.'
LULLABY - ON THE TURSA/KAPARTE COMPILATION 'WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE'
www.blackmagazin.com - 11/5/2010
'Interesting pop from Guy Harries, who with his singing, reminiscent of Brendan Perry, performs the darkest lullaby since Ärzte.'
JASSER DE OPERA
Trouw - 3/10/2006
by Hans Oranje
'The music was created by Israeli born Guy Harries, who wrote a fascinating work, based on western and Arabic music traditions...
The original bleak text, is now presented as an integrated piece - manifest in its aesthetic, and its beautiful sounds and images.'
www.joods.nl - 9/10/2006
by Daniëlle van den Bos
'Jasser the opera' is definitely worthwhile. It hits you in the face (as Guy Harries describes it) in a confrontational, but also refreshing way. The theme of recognising one's thinking in stereotypes and then trying to undo this forces the spectator to confront his/her own prejudices. The multimedia aspect of the piece is also impressive. Jasser belly-dances to the klezmer tunes of the ensemble, while in the background one can see images of the actor walking in the Israeli desert, as well as the back of his girlfriend Marjolein being written on with melted chocolate.'
moose.nl - 2/10/2006
'Israeli composer Guy Harries has managed to accomplish what he states he has set out to do: to ' follow what the text is about'. The piece carries you through a multi-faceted form, and flows seamlessly between spoken and sung texts, music and instrumentation in which arabic and western styles flow into each other, engaging you in the conflicts which the Palestinian-Dutch actor Yasser Mansour is experiencing.'
THINGS THAT BEGIN WITH AN M
Trouw - 31/10/2000
by Kees Polling
'The ensemble performed the beautiful, and at times humorous, piece by young Israeli composer Guy Harries titled Things that begin with an M that he composed for LOOS as part of the Henriette Bosmans Prize he was awarded.
...the piece seemed to be tailored specially for the ensemble, but went further than that. It was utterly comical to see guest-vocalist Jannie Pranger singing texts such as 'Eat me...aha' and 'Drink me....aha'. The conviction in the music is, and remains, LOOS, but the comical aspect which the music brings about puts the LOOS sound in a different context and has a liberating effect.'