His Wild Imaginings

An orchestra-theatre production based on Symphonie Fantastique and the true story behind it’s creation

In longer-term development

Currently in the early commissioning stages, Rough Fiction and London Arts Orchestra are creating a new orchestra theatre production that aims to engage new audiences with classical music, and develop a unique working relationship between visual theatre-makers and classical musicians.

His Wild Imaginings takes Hector Berlioz’ romantic masterpiece Symphonie Fantastique and the true story behind its creation as a blueprint for a new cross arts production.

This mini-documentary reveals the ideas and true story behind the production alongside footage from an early development performance presented to an invited audience at LSO St Luke’s in July 2015.

His Wild Imaginings invites you to enter the imagination of man on the verge of creating one of the romantic movement’s most famous and unexpected symphonies –  a symphony written out of a composer’s unrequited love for an actress, and his passion for Shakespearean tragedy.

The first stage of the project was a 3-week research and development process to explore the possibilities of combining a live symphony orchestra with theatrical performance to reveal the hidden depths and contextual background that surround a famous classical symphony, with the long-term aim of bringing new audience to classical music. It involved a week’s work in The Barbican’s Pit Theatre as part of Barbican/Guildhall’s Open Lab project and culminated in a rehearsal sharing at the wonderful LSO St Luke’s on 10th July 2015.

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Director – Simon Pittman has extensive independent professional experience as a theatre director and movement director with a range of company’s including The National Theatre of Scotland, Soho Theatre, Manchester Library Theatre and Wilton’s Music Hall. Recent work includes movement direction on shows such as The Go-Between (Apollo, West End), The Box of Delights (Wilton’s Music Hall) and The Shawshank Redemption (Edinburgh Festival / Gaiety Theatre Dublin). He is Associate Director (Learn & Train) at Frantic Assembly and recently directed a version of  Frantic’s Othello for The National Theatre of Great Britain (Ambassadors Theatre West End).

Music Director – Edward Farmer has gained a wide range of experience as a conductor of symphonic and operatic music. Since co-founding the LAO, recent engagements include with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, as assistant conductor to Iván Fischer, and conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the 2013 LSO Discovery Masterclass with Michael Tilson Thomas. A graduate of the Royal College of Music in London, Edward worked as a composer for film, television and theatre before pursuing a career as a conductor, writing music for over 40 short films, TV documentaries, and touring theatre productions. He was a member of the Royal Opera House Vox Scheme for composers.

Dramaturge – John Lloyd-Davies has an international career spanning more than a hundred productions. His work has ranged from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to Vienna, Copenhagen, Brussels, Dallas, Los Angeles, Graz and Nürnberg. He is a holder of the Josef Kainz Medal for contemporary opera work in Vienna, and is currently dramaturg to Kasper Holten, Director of the Royal Opera, on the forthcoming ROH production of Szymanowski’s Król Roger.

R&D Producer – Peter Huntley has produced Lizzie Siddal (Arcola); In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play (St. James); As You Like It, Farragut North, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Floyd Collins, The Belle’s Stratagem (Southwark Playhouse), The Kissing-Dance (Jermyn Street) and Austentatious (Landor). He has worked for Sonia Friedman Productions (including Associate Producer on Bend It Like Beckham), Shakespeare’s Globe and The Really Useful Theatre Company. Peter is a director of General Management company 1505.

London Arts Orchestra: Co-Producing Organisation

London Arts Orchestra (LAO) brings music to life through storytelling, creating imaginative concert experiences for newcomers to classical music. The orchestra has also become a home for a wide range of young European musicians in London. LAO was founded in 2009 and is a registered UK charity with the aim of making orchestral music more accessible to wider audience.

  • An orchestra of fine musicians” – Barry Millington, London Evening Standard
  • If only some of our bigger national Orchestra’s were as innovative” Seen and Heard International, Jim Pritchard
  • An intoxicating combination of arts, visuals, music, and storytelling” Huffington Post


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