‘Only An Octave Apart’ – one of the biggest cultural hits from New York in the past 18 months comes to London and runs at Wilton’s Music Hall for an entire month from 28 September – 22 October.
The highly theatrical show features two incredible stars – Justin Vivian Bond is know as the queen of downtown cabaret, regularly holding court at clubs like Joe’s Pub, described as ‘the greatest cabaret artist of their generation’ by New Yorker.
Anthony Roth Costanzo is the star countertenor (‘the vocally brilliant and dramatically fearless countertenor’ – The New York Times) whose otherworldly high voice has bewitched so many, notably in the title role of Philip Glass’s opera Akhnaten (which returns to the ENO in London this spring).
Together they have created a show called ‘Only An Actave Apart’ that mashes up pop classics with some of the greatest opera arias – it is a joyous and surprising musical fantasia, reveling in everything strange and beautiful in the coexistence of contrasts – from Purcell’s 17th century aria ‘Dido’s Lament’ to Dido’s early 2000s hit ‘White Flag’, from ‘Autumn Leaves’ to ‘The Waters of March’ and Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’. It celebrates the historical and the hysterical, from countertenor to counterculture.
Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo make the perfect duo to transfer you to a universe of cabaret glitter and opera realness. This gloriously unexpected and fantastically unconventional vocal orgasm you will experience during the show will provoke very strong and pleasant emotions and will make your night as unforgettable as it can be! They are a joy to watch!
act in this breathtaking cabaret-fantasia, based on the unlikeliest collaboration in the vocal universe: Costanzo, a world class countertenor, singing duets with Bond, New York’s favorite alt-cabaret chanteuse. For most of the show they’d banter about their differences, but the vibe was always glittering, sparkling, exquisite, enrapt. Back and forth they went, until they performed an encore that somehow folded together Philip Glass’s Akhnaten and Walk Like an Egyptian. It felt like climbing a pyramid at dawn: Your pharaoh could never. — Helen Shaw, 12/17/21
Justin Vivian Bond has garnered an OBIE Award, a Bessie Award, a Tony Award nomination,
and an Ethyl Eichelberger Award. As one-half the the legendary Kiki and Herb and as a solo
artist, their illustrious 30-year cabaret career has included headlining at Carnegie Hall, The
Sydney Opera House, and appearances in films (‘Shortbus’, ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’).
Their memoir ‘Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels’ won the Lambda Literary
Award for transgender non-fiction.
Grammy Award winner Anthony Roth Costanzo was named Musical America’s 2019 Vocalist
of the Year and is the exquisite star of Philip Glass’ ‘Akhnaten’ which recently triumphed
again at the Metropolitan Opera. He will appear at this year’s Proms on 3 September at the
spectacular space of Printworks London – a printing plant turned club venue – in ‘Glass
Handel’, an operatic spectacle juxtaposing works by Philip Glass and Handel, featuring a
specially commissioned work by Philip Glass.
In ‘Only an Octave Apart’, they express their queer identities through unique interpretations
of classical, pop, and hybrids of the two, making the gendered history of the music their
plaything. Whether invoking mythology or nature, romance or radical compassion, Bond
and Costanzo carve new pathways between opera and politically subversive cabaret – two
art forms that, as Bond puts it, “have been kept alive for generations by queens”- and allow
old works to reveal surprising new stories.