Ólafur Arnalds Presents: OPIA

Part of Contemporary Edit

In a takeover event featuring Grandbrothers, Rhye, Poppy Ackroyd, Högni & Ensemble, Hania Rani and Josin, BAFTA-winning composer Ólafur Arnalds honours music and film, friendship and collaboration.

Ólafur Arnalds’ OPIA occupies our venues into the late evening, filling every hall, nook and cranny of Southbank Centre with performances from innovative artists.

‘Opia’ means ‘the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye’, according to film-maker John Koenig’s Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

Arnalds chose the name to reflect the closeness of the creative community to which these artists belong.

Royal Festival Hall line-up
Ólafur Arnalds
Icelandic artist Ólafur Arnalds explores the crossover from classical to pop by mixing chamber strings and piano with electronics, creating near-weightless symphonic works. He was one of the first artists to join Erased Tapes in 2007, and is also half of techno duo Kiasmos, founded in 2009.

Latest album re:member, released in August 2018, was dubbed ‘sophisticated, explorative, and humane’ by Line of Best Fit. His compositions for the 2013 ITV series Broadchurch won him the 2014 BAFTA for Best Original Music.

Erol Sarp and Lukas Vogel, aka Grandbrothers, have been characterised until now by creating every sound on a single instrument: a classic grand piano with a unique system of electromechanical hammers that pushes the boundaries of sound expression to the utmost.

They override this self-chosen limit at least temporarily by adding further instruments and musicians to their live show, with a band especially put together for OPIA.

Queen Elizabeth Hall line-up
Under the cover of booming piano, analogue synths, natural percussion, and heavenly vocals, Rhye has attracted acclaim over the release of two albums, Woman and Blood. Here they perform an experimental piano set influenced by the release of the new albumSpirit.

Poppy Ackroyd
Poppy Ackroyd creates percussive textures from traditional classical instruments by recording improvised contemporary classical piano motifs and then rearranging and manipulating these sounds digitally, Ackroyd fuses acoustic and electronic in a post-classical setting.

Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall line-up
Högni & Ensemble
Icelandic composer and singer Högni, known as the frontman of indie rock band Hjaltalín and previous member of electronic group GusGus, brings a special set with a string quartet.

Hania Rani
Pianist, composer and musician Hania Rani has collaborated with the likes of Christian Löffler, Dobrawa Czocher and Hior Chronik, and released an album with her Polish group teskno last year. Her compositions for solo piano were born out of a fascination with the instrument, and her desire to interpret its sound and harmonic possibilities.

Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer line-up
Josin’s 2017 EP Epilogue was a soaring, moving introduction, a strikingly original fusion of neo-classical textures and inquisitive electronics. Debut album In The Blank Space takes this conversation further, a broad but stunningly concise exposition of supple strings, textured vocals, and digital excursions.

Dates & times

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Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)


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need to know

Purchase this ticket with a ticket to Ólafur Arnalds Presents: OPIA Lates and get 20% off (£5) the late ticket. Offer limited to 200 tickets.

Tickets are exchanged for wristbands on the day, which can be used to gain access to Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. Access to the auditoria is dependent on capacities at any given time.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.

Related events
As part of this takeover, Arnalds curates late-night events in The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer after the performances in our main venues.
Find out more