12 July – 15 July

Hearing Voices

By Jocelyn Pook

Hearing Voices is a multi-media song-cycle for solo voice, ensemble and recorded voicesexploring the pain, laughter and protest of women who have experienced mental illness across generations.

Hearing Voices, directed by Emma Bernard (text/lyrics/dramaturgy), performed by Melanie Pappenheim, with visuals by Dragan Aleksic, focuses on five moving stories – the recorded testimony and words of Jocelyn’s mother, her great aunt, seamstress Agnes Richter and artists Julie McNamara & Bobby Baker, documenting the evolving perceptions of mental illness – hysteria, madness, dementia, psychological disturbance.

Pook is one of the UK’s most versatile composers, writing for stage, screen, theatre and concert hall, she has won a Golden Globe, Olivier and two British Composer Awards (BASCA).   In addition to scoring Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, the Merchant of Venice and Brick Lane, theatrical credits include King Charles III (Almeida, Wyndhams, Broadway and broadcast on BBC), DESH for Akram Khan, Lest We Forget with English National Ballet and Ingerland (Royal Opera House).

“It’s very positive to talk about mental health issues which are still stigmatised in society and yet they are so common. Artists and composers down the ages have been afflicted with numerous mental disorders. Perhaps, as Bobby Baker suggests, these creative spirits are merely more receptive and reflect, like litmus paper, the greater illnesses in society.” (Jocelyn Pook)


The cast includes: Melanie Pappenheim (mezzo soprano), Preetha Narayanan (violin), Jocelyn Pook (viola), Laura Moody (cello) and Susi Evans on Clarinet. 

Dragan Aleksic’s installations will accompany Hearing Voices at the Coronet and will be available to view between 5.30 and 7.30pm before each performance.

Hearing Voices was first heard in 2012 in the concert H7STERIA at QEH Southbank, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and it was reworked for Tête à Tête in 2015.

Running time: 1 hour approx with no interval


Music: Jocelyn Pook
Words/Lyrics: Emma Bernard, Phyllis Williams
Director/Dramaturg: Emma Bernard
Lighting Designer: Chahine Yavroyan
Sound Designer: Andy Cotton
Videographer: Dragan Aleksic
Cinematography: Oscar Oldershow
Mezzo­‐soprano: Melanie Pappenheim
Clarinet: Susi Evans
Violin: Preetha Narayanan
Viola: Jocelyn Pook
Cello: Laura Moody









Jocelyn Pook gratefully acknowledges support from PRS for Music Foundation