The Blue Hour

The Pheasantry (Chelsea)

In 1930, two young revolutionaries burst onto the German art scene with their satirical opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. It was a smash, capturing the febrile essence of Weimar Berlin. The collaboration between Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht heralded a brief musical golden age at a time of impending darkness, when artists in underground nightclubs dissected the political maelstrom in the streets above. The Blue Hour re-imagines their legacy in bold, contemporary colours, along with decadent masterpieces of the era by Hollaender and Spoliansky, including 'Surabaya Johnny' and Marlene's huge hit, 'Falling in Love Again'. Sarah Gabriel and Tim Sutton are joined for this project by cellist Gabriella Swallow and Beth Higham-Edwards on percussion.

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Sarah Gabriel 

Described by Le Monde as ‘as fine an actor as she is a singer’ and praised by The Guardian for her ‘springwater vocals’, soprano Sarah Gabriel has explored her fascination with Berlin Cabaret and music of the Weimar era with pianist Joanna MacGregor and composer-arrangers Iain Farrington and Joseph Atkins at venues across the UK, including Kings Place, London and The Sage, Gateshead. 

Her collaborations with composer and pianist Tim Sutton include Brecht’s Threepenny Bits at the Soho Theatre, London and The Blue Hour, their new project exploring the work of Brecht & Weill and their compatriots. 

Sarah has sung music spanning 300 years at Wigmore Hall, Cheltenham and Dartington International Festivals, across Europe and the USA.  She has broadcast for BBC Radio 2, 3, 4 and 6, NPR (USA), RTÉ, France Musique, and Radio France. She made her European debut as Eliza Doolittle in Robert Carsen’s triumphant production of My Fair Lady at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, opposite Alex Jennings as Higgins. 

Tim Sutton

As composer and musical director, Tim Sutton has worked extensively with the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Young Vic and other major theatre companies. Recent work includes The Cherry Orchard (Central School of Speech and Drama), The Omission of the Family Coleman (Ustinov), Pericles, As You Like It and Titus Andronicus (RSC), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre), and Alexei Sayle’s Imaginary Sandwich Bar Series 1, 2 & 3 (BBC Radio 4). 

Gabriella Swallow

Cellist Gabriella Swallow is a London-based performer who has quickly become known as one of the most versatile and exciting cellists of her generation. She has performed with some of the world’s most respected orchestras and musicians, and her dynamic and expressive style has captivated audiences across the globe. 

Alongside her classical work she is a sought-after collaborator for singers and actors. She has been fortunate to work with UK Jazz and cabaret stars including Ian Shaw, Barb Jungr, Liane Carrol. Since 2007 she has been a member of singer-songwriter Judith Owen’s band who from 2016 toured America and Europe with Bryan Ferry. In 2019 her string quartet ShowStrings toured Europe with Hugh Jackman on his Greatest Show tour.