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Amadeus Leopold @ Yoko Ono's Meltdown Festival

Rock me Amadeus!


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

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