Amadeus Leopold @ Yoko Ono's Meltdown Festival
Rock me Amadeus!
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Amadeus Leopold, the gloriously deranged artist formerly known as HanBin, triumphed at Yoko Ono's Meltdown festival at the South Bank.
In the first half the lanky cybergoth androgyne rose from a coffin amid a flurry of dry ice to play a selection of their usual virtuoso firecrackers, with occasional costume changes and memorable use of a blood capsule at the height of Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre. Even in glorious meretricious nonsense like Khachaturian's Sabre Dance, arranged with a lot of plucking of the strings and striking the violin with the bow, the musicianship is impeccable – the best-known of Paganini's Caprices got performed with a different voguing attitude for each variation.
The second half was more thoughtful, less flashy – performances of some un-named contemporary music – Arvo Part? Ligeti – alternated with Sarasate's Carmen fantasy, done as if Amadeus Leopold were channeling Callas as well as fiddling. A wonderful evening.
Find out more about Yoko Ono's Meltdown at the Southbank Centre here.
Words: Roz Kaveney