|| Live shows ||

 

2045: The year man becomes immortal (2016)

I just loved this work – its ability to combine music, word and experience into something that is beyond cinema, stage and traditional concerts. It’s a truly consuming 3-D experience with music that is moving, expressive and utterly compelling. Can’t wait to hear it again. Utterly absorbing.
— Michael Haas / multi Grammy Award winning classical music producer

'2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal?', selected as one of the 'Five of the Best Classical Concerts' by The Guardian, was premiered on the 6th of July 2016 at St. James's Church, Piccadilly, featuring soprano Meeta Raval, countertenor Oliver Gerrish, the Aquinas Piano Trio and Helios Voices. A private performance followed on the 9th of July at Cowdray House for a select group of guests. In both occasions the piece was received with rousing standing ovations and unanimous praise. Moving, compelling, absorbing, powerful, mesmerising, haunting, uplifting, extraordinary...these adjectives appear again and again on the numerous audience testimonials gathered after the performances. Rarely a new piece receives such sort of praise. You can read all the audience reactions here. 

2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal?’ (2016) started as a homage to this concept called Technological Singularity, this new era that the techno-scientific community have predicted to be possible by 2045 in which technology will finally allow for man and machine to merge, enabling us the possibility to prolong life indefinitely, making us immortal effectively.

Through this paradigm of the future I explore the efforts of our technocratic society to overcome death, wondering essentially whether there's a purpose to being mortal, whether there's a purpose to dying. When our days are numbered, life becomes more precious and we cherish more the things we love. The piece wonders whether we should be tampering with nature's cycle of life, where from death there's always new life.

The piece is structured in 5 sections mirroring the five stages of a fruit tree, a metaphor for the cyclic nature of life. The first three sections constitute a first block representing the process from life to death. The last two sections constitute a second block where, after what we understand as death, I wonder about the immortal nature of the human soul. In the timeline of the piece, these two blocks are separated exactly at the Golden Ratio and all the individual pieces that constitute the piece follow the timings of the Fibonacci Sequence.

The piece was premiered at St. James's Church in Piccadilly, London, on the 6th of July 2016 in collaboration with Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival. It was further performed at Buck Hall in Cowdray House on the 9th of July 2016. It received standing ovations on both occasions and widespread acclaim.

  • I just loved this work – its ability to combine music, word and experience into something that is beyond cinema, stage and traditional concerts. It’s a truly consuming 3-D experience with music that is moving, expressive and utterly compelling. Can’t wait to hear it again. Utterly absorbing.
    — Michael Haas
  • It was sensational and loved every moment…
    — Marina Cowdray
  • Such a memorable evening, the music was remarkably enjoyable and have been telling so many friends how super it was.
    — Derek Bell MBE
  • I felt like his music was transporting me to a place where the answers that couldn’t be expressed in words lived and breathed. I loved it...so moving...a truly wonderfully haunting experience.
    — Megg Nicol
  • Superb, magnificent, moving, beautifully composed and performed.
    — Miel de Botton
  • 2045 is incredible...I imagined it being the soundtrack to the next sci-fi blockbuster. Loved the pieces of narrative you’d placed over the top and just how varied it was with vocals, electric and acoustic instruments.
    — Patrick Drake
  • Special...I literally have never heard anything like it before, both powerful and mesmerising.
    — Tracy Portman
  • The whole experience was so stunningly uplifting. A night I will remember for a long time.
    — Tamara Gray
  • It’s beautiful, other-worldly and uplifting...I particularly liked the soaring voices above the spoken word.
    — William Thuillier
  • Within the first seconds of the music starting, I was captivated. For a full hour, my mind was blown away by the eerie, deep and intense performance. The whole piece perfectly balanced lightness and strength. It carried a spirituality that moved me to the core. Magnificent. I had not heard something so powerful in a long, long, long time.
    — Virginie Bonfils-Bedos
  • The concert was really quite extraordinary and very moving.
    — Sandy Norman
  • What a wonderful, wonderful evening, so completely 'wow'. The lyrics were so beautiful. I have kept the programme and dip in it every now and then to remind myself of something very special.
    — Joanna von Shenk
  • Toni took us all on an incredible journey.
    — Annabel Bosher
  • What a joy it was to be lifted by such exquisite songs and music. To reach such heights of imagination and pleasure is a rare thing.
    — Carol Lawrence
  • It was a night we will never forget...just amazing.
    — Nick & Catherine English
  • My husband Paul and I came to your amazing performance of “2045” at St James’s Piccadilly and were absolutely blown away. It was beautiful, stirring, haunting and uplifting...intoxicating. Such an interesting theory behind the composition too…and I love the spirituality of the lyrics.
    — Emma Ohea
  • I thought it was one of the most beautiful pieces of music, so moving and inspirational.
    — Sophie Warre
  • It was quite unforgettable and very beautiful experience. Afterwards, even the countryside looked quite luminously altered. Thank you again.
    — Penelope Tree
  • It was really a high experience and so uplifting...the lease is running out so wonderful to be reminded by such wise men as Watts that we should not fear death.
    — Peter Meadows
  • Magnificent and I am keen to relive it!  It was moving and profound.
    — David Hopkin
  • Still floating in the magnitude of the music. I reread the lyrics last night and am even keener to somehow find and relive the music. Exquisite.
    — Rebecca Miskin
  • It was wonderful from start to finish, I was so inspired by Toni's work.
    — Guy Burgs
  • Angelic music...amazing. Truly incredible.
    — Tina Tsang
  • It was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!! Deeply moving, extraordinary & stirring...took everyone to a special realm. Daniele & I loved it.
    — James Nicholls
  • What a superb evening we had - such a moving and wonderfully profound and thought provoking creation. Absolutely beautiful and transporting.
    — Didi
  • Congratulations again on a fantastic evening - hope you feel proud of results. As I mentioned, the audience members I spoke to (and our ushers) were bowled over by it - so it was a very impressive feat for you to pull all aspects of it together so successfully.
    — David McCleery
  • Amazing...goosebumps…
    — LC
  • Beautiful music, it has touched my soul again and again. I felt transported to a world where only love exists.
    — Paola Bay
  • Dearest Toni just to tell you how spellbound I was by your celestial music...this particular opera will travel far and wide, touching the heart of many around the world…
    — Claudia Navone
  • Absolutely magical, brilliant, deeply moving musical feast!! Florina and I absolutely loved it and it was a wonderful and uplifting evening. Everyone I spoke felt the same. Bravissimo!!!
    — Peter Adler
  • What a wonderful concert, truly awesome and inspiring. Very moving. Everyone I spoke to loved every minute of your beautiful music. Can’t wait to hear it again!
    — Jose Fonseca
  • Fabulous music…
    — Dick Kries
  • Stunning and incredibly moving concert. I was BLOWN away with how powerful it was. Words can not describe your talent.
    — Bethany Russell
  • I was absolutely blown away by the performance. I found it deeply, deeply moving as well as sublime, beautiful and inspiring. *PLEASE* can there be another performance soon?!? There are so many more people I would like to bring!!
    — Venetia Appelbe
  • I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was magical.
    — Pierre Decote
  • Captivating performance.
    — Maxine Hamilton Stubber
  • Spellbinding! I absolutely loved it! I was moved and it was UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL! The whole composition and combination of artists playing was MAGIC!! Congratulations.
    — Helen Park-Weir
  • Thank you for a splendid evening. The music was blissful. It's an emotive and thought provoking work, I'm so glad I came.
    — Vardatta Singh-Khalsa
  • A wonderful concert - it was so profound and a great pleasure to hear.
    — Fi Prentice
  • I was blown away!
    — Alanna FitzGerald
  • It was incredible, really brilliant.
    — Roberta Howett
  • The most incredible music creation I have ever heard. I would love to hear it again soon!
    — Inga Pivena
  • Your work is MAGNIFICENT! SUBLIME!
    — Virginie Bonfils-Bedos
  • A Triumph!
    — Peter Rudnick
  • Insanely beautiful, everything about the performance blew my mind.
    — Jess Segal
  • Loved it, such a beautiful piece.
    — Annabel Thrower
  • What a beautiful beautiful concert. I thought it was unbelievably amazing and powerful. I really loved it!
    — Georgie Gerrish
  • It was magic, really so so beautiful. Giant goosebumps...loved it.
    — Katie Stone
  • Such an impressive piece of music!!! Well done.
    — Tamara Palamakumbura
  • An electro-oratorio smorgasbord of futuristic musical concepts and artistic patterns as old as nature itself. New music to be excited about. I think you've done a beautiful job of capturing the zeitgeist in terms of the balance between new horizons from technology and perpetual human quandaries, through a medium that is both classical and pop. Just genius. I'm deeply impressed and moved.
    — Peter Lewin
  • Wonderfully moving show. Congratulations Toni Castells, my friends were really inspired by it.
    — Marie Angel
  • Beautiful, provocative, haunting, poignant. I want to see/hear it again! Thank you.
    — Laura Bridge
  • Was such an amazing show and performance, it was truly perfect. Touched my soul.
    — Claudia Bergman
  • What an amazing night of music! Thanks for reminding me to take some time out of my busy life to listen, open my heart and reflect on our existence. Really love your work.
    — Maria-Chiara di Bernardo
  • It was truly moving.
    — Quentin Holland
  • R. and I loved 2045. We were really moved. Congratulations.
    — Emma Passmore
  • It was an overwhelming experience to listen to your music in St. James’s. I felt it left everyone deeply touched, hard to escape the depth of the lyrics and samples.
    — Erik Holzinger
  • It was incredible; so intricately woven. Thank you!!!
    — Melissa Eisdell
  • Hauntingly beautiful & thought provoking, thank you for a wonderful evening
    — Kate Pardoe
  • Our warmest congratulations on an absolutely fantastic and amazing performance. I cannot begin to comprehend how you put the whole thing together, it is truly impressive. Well done and we hope your opera goes from strength to strength.
    — Edward Heaton
  • It was absolutely beautiful. Congratulations.
    — Agi La
  • Thank you for a marvellous masterpiece, it was wonderful bravo!
    — Anika Valentina Maric
  • It was absolutely fantastic!!! Incredible piece. Blessed to have been there.
    — Lee Atkins
  • So spine tingling-ly wonderful, exceeded all my already very high expectations.
    — Wink Bankes
  • Amazing event and happening you created and executed stunningly well. You should be really proud of yourself for your integrity, vision and profound sincere spirit.
    — Alex Goulding
  • Thank you for such a wonderful evening. It really was a spectacular concert that deeply resonated with me on so many different levels, a very moving and thought provoking performance. Well done! Look forward to the next one!
    — Catherine Crawley
  • The best concert ticket I have purchased this year! Took form and it was eloquent.
    — Jean-Herve Nedelec
  • I absolutely loved the event, such a beautiful and thought provoking event, congratulations!
    — Holly Presdee
  • Enjoyed it immensely!
    — Dhivya Venkat
  • I loved it. It is genre transcending and therefore difficult to describe or compare to anything else, so I can only talk about how it made me feel. I was transported away to another world, reminded of my own mortality, and of the fact that that there is hope and purpose in death and new life. A really magical piece of music. Well done!
    — Sam Coffield

 

Life from Light (2012)

‘Life from Light’ is a unique live experience that combines operatic performance with multiple musical genres and video art. Based upon tracks from Toni’s ‘Creation’ album of 2011, the production explores the increasingly complex relationship 
between humans and Earth, the challenges of climate change, the development of ‘playing God’ science and the fluidity of spirituality and sexuality.
— Chris Lockie at The Londonist

"Life from Light" (2012) is a video-opera that was premiered at Union Chapel in London on the 15th of November of 2012. The piece was conceived inspired by Charles Darwin's famous quote on "the impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity for looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity." Through it, the composer explores what it means to be human on Planet Earth, the miracle of life on this Planet and - as Darwin did in his day - exposes the audience to the question to whether such a miracle can happen just by chance alone and of our ultimate origin. By raising these questions the composer aims to raise awareness about what it means to be human, about our beautiful Planet, nature and the path humanity has taken. There is a strong need and desire by many to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all. Whereas many people are working on this direction through direct action, policy making and lobbying, "Life from Light" aims to modestly support those efforts though the power of music.

For this occasion Toni joined forces with old-time collaborators Roberta Howett and Oliver Gerrish who were joined on stage by soprano Susan Jiwey. A backdrop of video-art - created by visual artist Thomas Yeomans - engulfed the stage and the performers.

By invitation of the Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival and funded by the Arts Council England, "Life from Light" was further performed on the 7th and 8th of August 2014 at London’s Kings Place Hall One. Roberta Howett and Oliver Gerrish were joined this time by soprano Meeta Raval, Classical Brit nominee Camilla Kerslake and Cuban jazz trumpeter Yelfris Valdes. They were accompanied by a 8-strong ensemble featuring award-winning disruptive technologist and hacker Adam John Williams, harpist Cristina de Bernardo (HNK Opera and Ballet Theatre), violinist and Erhu player Amy Yuan, cellist David Kadumukasa, guitarist Igor Fejzula, drummer Elias Gargallo, bass guitarist Martin J Stephens and arranger and pianist Geoff Lawson.

 

  • It was fabulous Toni...well done!
    — Jim Mellon
  • Thank you for a beautiful night. Music an visuals was stunning. The hair on my back stood up 6-7 times and I smiled many more times. So many dimensions. Congratulations.
    — LC Kvaal
  • Amazing show Toni. You are the expression of that light of this big, wide and surprising world.
    — Carolina Busina
  • Congratulations!!! What a wonderful show!!! Wow...We really enjoyed it!
    — Teresa Costa Alfares
  • Just want to congratulate on the fantastic event last night, such an inspiration! My body, mind and spirit are buzzing today. Keep up the great work and please also let us know how things develop!
    — Christiana Soderberg
  • It was absolutely incredible, beautiful venue, stunning photos and the most spine tingling music - thank you very much for a wonderful evening. Please show it again so I can invite all my friends to go!
    — Cecilia Desmond
  • I feel honoured to have been part of this. Every piece was so beautiful, and everything came together so wonderfully.
    — Adam John Williams
  • Toni, it was just amazing! Love your music! I believed in you that show will be wonderful - and I have no doubts that more successful shows will follow! You are superstar!!!!
    — Natasha Faeh
  • I was mesmerised and inspired by Toni’s opera "Life from Light" - I have not had such a perfect night of beauty for a long time. Traviata is beautiful, Tosca is very sad - “Life from Light” makes every breath we take, every blink we make ...every heart beat count. I have not been taken by the power of music so much for a long time. Conventions are there to be broken.
    — Stasya Free
  • Congratulations Toni! Great night, it was a success! Ambitious project and very well accomplished, the score was absolutely beautiful and the visuals too!! Amazing performers too. Bravo!!!
    — Maria Chiara di Bernardo
  • What a gig! It all came together to give an awesome show in a fantastic venue - looking forward to visiting union chapel again - some fantastic music played brilliantly - congratulations on a great show.
    — Andrew Bourbon
  • "Life From Light" was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Congratulations Toni and the rest of the team for an excellent concert!
    — Martin Stephens
  • It was an amazing show Toni, well done! An astounding achievement.
    — Sophie Edmonds
  • Congratulations for the show. It was amazing!! I can't wait to see the next show! Great music and great atmosphere…breathless!
    — Stefania Pileri
  • OMG your opera was just sensational, I absolutely loved it. Congratulations it was truly incredible, the music, the video, the singers, the musicians, the venue, the lighting, the acoustics, the visuals, the actors…everything! I hope it is a huge success for you. You must be very proud, it was truly wonderful.
    — Nadia Brydon
  • Amazing production, I loved it! Music is genius and together with the images they take you to a completely different place and make you feel all sort of emotions. Congratulations!
    — Olga Rabasso
  • I loved it, it was very moving and a night I will remember forever - well done!
    — Krystal Nash
  • Beautiful, just beautiful, and inspirational. Thank you.
    — Martin Jefferies
  • I was really impressed and really enjoyed the show, it all held together really well and your music is beautiful.
    — Carleen Ebbs
  • Magnificent.
    — Sydney Levinson
  • Amazing, it made me tearful, it was beautiful...
    — Charlie Evans
  • It was beautiful…
    — Minako Kano
  • I absolutely loved it!! The music coupled together with the images were mesmerising. The people you brought together - it all worked beautifully. Congratulations!
    — Jacinta Kelly
  • It was so incredible, just sensational. I want people to see it…so so impressed!
    — Hayley Kennedy
  • It is staggering the power imbued in a live performance.
    — Josephine Sundt
  • I enjoyed it immensely. Great tunes, but also the depth of complex harmonies, performed very well indeed. Would love to hear it again.
    — Alex Brown
  • It was amazing, I really enjoyed it!
    — Annette Abendanon
  • Wonderful night, such a success, the work was brilliant.
    — Henry Conway
  • Pretty savage…I have been a DJ/Producer for the past decade and I have seen quite a lot of gigs. That was one of my favourite in London. I was lost in it at one stage, always a good sign!
    — Eoin Long
 

 

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