Momo’s dedication of his show to ‘love, in all its magnitudes’ was a good indicator of the ambition of his performance.
In the dimly lit, Ambassadorial interior of Bush Hall, an atmosphere of Desdemona’s bedroom, a string quartet, and the lean Frenchman’s unassuming manner belied the sweeping grandness of the show.
Momo takes the best of 90s trip-hop and teaches it a classical lesson over seven pieces of music. Amid thumping backing tracks of heartbeats and a slideshow of urban images on a big screen, one singer has the duty of singing the plaintive verses overlayed by the high operatic notes of her partner. The string quartet and conductor further heighten the haunting combination.
Our French composer, almost left out of his own band at the back of the stage sitting down, played very little himself, introducing instead each piece of music with a slush of poetry: “Can you hear that voice that comes from the sky?” Err, yes, Momo…
Verse aside, the show is rich in well-placed bursts of piano (unseen), beautiful singing from the four vocalists and a note-perfect quartet who are duly given morsels of solo space. Ending the show with Shakespeare’s most famous sonnet – first a spoken recital, then an operatic interpretation – was impossible to not balk at. But for those who don’t mind rather high self-regard, a night combining Massive Attack and Mendelsohn remains interesting.