Music and Money with Barclays, Mansion House (UK)

Thursday, 15th November,2012

Brief: To creatively produce, stage and deliver an opera based on the Stock Exchange.

‘Open Outcry… ambitious, well-executed and strangely compelling’ BBC Radio 4 (Today Programme)

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Over 200 of Barclays’ most valued clients as well as noted members of the creative press and media were invited to experience a truly unique event at the Lord Mayor of London’s residence, Mansion House.

Alongside a specially commissioned art installation by the American Financial Analyst and Artist Carl Richards and a presentation by the world-renowned mathematician, Marcus du Sautoy, the climax of the event was the world premiere of Open Outcry: A ‘Reality Opera’ expressing the emotional behaviour of the stock market.

Chimera Productions was approached to produce and stage the reality opera, brainchild of the award-winning composer Alexis Kirke in collaboration with Greg B. Davies, Head of Behavioural and Quantitative Investment Philosophy, Barclays.

As a completely new and novel concept, nothing like this had ever been staged before. The staging had to be simple, yet effective – to allow the singers to focus on their performance and the actual buying and selling of stocks – and for the audience to comprehend what was going on around them. To this end the audience became the stock floor with the singers performing in the round, singing out their trades across the entire space.

The next challenge was to provide the visualisation of the live stock exchange. With all of the individual stocks and shares portfolios created through a bespoke software simulation, a significant level of production complexity was required to bring the trades to life across multiple screens.

Operatic lighting and costume along with professional sound, av and staging provided a sense of theatricality to create the delicate balancing act between the reality of the trading floor with a live creative performance.