And the word was FUN!

We asked Elliott, our workshop leader for the St John Bosco College Parallel Production to give us an idea of what the groups are getting up to….

St Marks Primary School Workshop

In the beginning was the word, and the word was FUN! Toward the tail end of 2018, I was lucky enough to lead taster workshops for both our prospective primary and secondary school cohorts. The plan, to take Baseless Fabric’s modernised version of the classic, ‘Die Fledermaus’ and go wild with it; adding characters and scenes or doing them in new and different ways, learning to sing with correct operatic technique, acting, song and script writing and of course we play games! As you can imagine the reception was fantastic and our taster sessions were so much fun, we had scenes set anywhere from a hilarious family dinner, just after Eisenstein had gotten in trouble with the police, to a party at the top of a mountain and a marriage counselling session between Eisenstein and Rosalinde on the moon.

Cranmer Primary School Parallel Production Session

I left both sessions excited about the future of this project and guiding these creative young minds along the adventure of creating their own opera. Fast forward to now, we are 2 sessions in and we are having a great time. When asked what they were enjoying most so far, Amalie “The humour and acting!”, Whoopie “Acting and singing!”, Akari “Making my own lines!”, Abigail “Acting, seeing what the others create and I love singing!”. The fun and creativity has been translated well into hard work, laughter and some fantastic scenes, I won’t give too much away, but suffice to say they are working hard and enthusiastically, supporting each other well and embracing something totally new… These operas are going to be special!

Elliott Anthony Ajal-Ajagbe Daley

Want to get involved with our work?

Baseless Fabric Theatre is looking for enthusiastic and skilled people to join our Board of Trustees.

What will you be doing?

Our dedicated Board of Trustees oversees the strategic direction and governance of this performing arts charity. We are looking to further strengthen the sustainability of the charity, developing existing and creating new revenue streams, and increasing our network of supporters and partners. The Board offers strategic guidance, creative ideas and support as required.

What are we looking for?

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2018, what a year…

What a year 2018 was for Baseless Fabric! We began the year with the thrilling news that we were the first recipient of the Wimbledon Foundation’s prestigious new Arts and Community Engagement Fund for our new street opera project Die Fledermaus!

This project, with the additional support of Arts Council England, Merton Council and the Samuel Gardner Memorial Trust, encompasses the creative adaptation of an opera for the high street, the free professional performances, workshops for both schools and elderly lunch clubs and two school parallel productions! So while the project has similarities to our previous street operas Drifting Dragons and Cosi Fan Tutte, it is also bigger and better than ever! Read more

So which superhero are you?

We had a great time in our Research & Development rehearsals and sharing last week. Thank you to everyone who came along to see what we’ve been up to so far and give feedback. As well as working hard on the music, staging the scenes and making sure the storyline is clear we also asked our singers a few questions to help you get to know them….

Die Fledermaus R&D

We have a superhero theme to Die Fledermaus. If you could be any superhero who would you be and why?

Claire Wild: I want to be the invisible one from Fantastic Four for a million reasons really, but mostly to be sneaky and overhear conversations.

David Horton: Nightcrawler because he can teleport and is super agile and I’m neither of those things!

Alistair Ollerenshaw: Spiderman – to be super agile and be able to swing from buildings.

Abigail Kelly: Scarlet Witch as she is possibly the most powerful being in the Marvel universe. Read more

Our School Parallel Production Workshop Leaders!

We are super excited to introduce our talented music and drama workshop leaders who will be working with the young people’s groups in our Die Fledermaus parallel productions at Cranmer Primary School and St John Bosco College….

 

Elliot Aynthony Ajai-Ajagbe Dale

Elliott Anthony Ajai-Ajagbe Daley – Drama Practitioner

Elliott Anthony Ajai-Ajagbe Daley has worked with the Lyric Theatre for 10 years where he has run a variety of the flagship drama based youth inclusion programs such as START and REWIND and is currently lead practitioner for the youth drama program, ‘Acting Up’. He also runs freelance drama and spoken word workshops in schools for them and other theatres such as the BAC, Harts and Bush Theatre. Read more

Fancy a sneak peek of our new street opera?

Eventbrite - Die Fledermaus R&D Sharing

The Production

Die Fledermaus is a hugely fun, often silly story with some brilliant characters and very catchy tunes. Die Fledermaus means ‘The Bat’ but in our modern version Bat Man may play a role instead! Funded by the Wimbledon Foundation’s new Arts and Community Engagement Fund (ACE), Arts Council EnglandMerton Council and the Samuel Gardner Memorial Trust, our Die Fledermaus production follows on from the success of our two previous Merton Street Operas Drifting Dragons and Cosi Fan Tutte. Like these previous productions, Die Fledermaus has been cut to approximately an hour, with a new modern English accessible libretto, and with the music re-written for 3 instruments suitable for promenade performance. The final production will take place in summer 2019 with scenes popping up along the high street and with the audience free to follow our characters down the street or just watch one scene. The music has some waltzes this time round so hope you’ll be waltzing down the high street with us!

The Free Sharing

On the 29th November at Wimbledon Theatre Studio we will be presenting a few scenes from our new adaptation, discussing our work and asking for your feedback (duration approximately an hour). If you would like to join us please click to book your ticket now. Tickets are FREE but limited so please register.

Eventbrite - Die Fledermaus R&D Sharing

Our school parallel productions of Die Fledermaus

We are thrilled to announce a new and exciting aspect of the Die Fledermaus project!

St Teresa’s Primary School opera workshop

As well as our professional cast performing our re-imagined version of Die Fledermaus in summer 2019, we will also have two groups of young people creating their own new versions of this classic opera as part of an ongoing youth opera project! The two groups, one primary and one secondary, will meet up fortnightly January – July 2019 with our professional music and drama practitioners to learn to sing and act out songs and scenes from the opera as well as writing new scenes, songs and perhaps even new characters to create their very own brand new show inspired by the opera. The fortnightly sessions will then lead to a week’s rehearsal and performance in the summer holidays so that the groups can show their ‘parallel productions’ to parents, teachers and the professional cast! Following which the groups will come to see our professional production to experience seeing a professional opera and hearing professional opera singers live and up close – and to be able to compare the professional version to their own! Read more

Announcing the Cast of Die Fledermaus

We are pleased to announce the cast of Die Fledermaus!

Claire Wild

Claire Wild

Claire Wild attended the Royal Northern College of Music‚ sponsored by the Peter Moores Foundation and the Musicians Benevolent Fund. She won the Webster Booth Award‚ the James Oncken Song Prize and the Frost Brownson Award.      

Highlights in recent seasons include Lilli Vanessi / Katharine in Kiss Me, Kate and Elle La voix humaine for Welsh National Opera, Susanna Le nozze di Figaro for Regents Opera and Petra in A Little Night Music for Opera Project at West Green House, Welsh National Opera as Emma in Khovanshchina and Garsington Opera as Caridad The Skating Rink, a newly commissioned opera by David Sawer. Read more

Re-imagining opera for the high street: the libretto

After the success of last year’s Cosi Fan Tutte and with the amazing opportunity afforded by Wimbledon Foundation’s Arts & Community Engagement Fund, we were excited to get to work on the tricky but satisfying process of adapting another opera for performances along the high street to reach audiences who might never go to see an opera in a traditional opera house / theatre venue.

As we’d had such positive audience responses to our adaptation of Cosi, we decided to have the same team re-writing Die Fledermaus – myself, Artistic Director Joanna Turner, re-writing the libretto (the words the characters sing) and Leo Geyer re-writing the music (changing what’s written for a full orchestra to 3 instruments, changes to vocal lines and of course making sure our massive cuts work musically). Together Leo and I also cut the opera down to about an hour and adapt it to make sense for the modern high street. Read more