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

“Altogether I’m sure Mozart would agree it couldn’t be bettered!”

Cosi Fan Tutte 2018 Qube Centre, Colliers Wood

What a wonderful and busy time we had reviving our Cosi Fan Tutte production last week! It was fantastic to get the team back together rehearsing at our lovely local Lantern Arts Centre and presenting our original street opera adaptation in the Colliers Wood Qube Centre and in Mitcham town centre. Thank you so much to all the wonderful businesses for letting us perform in their stores – especially Sainsburys in the Qube Centre which was a new venue for us and The White Lion of Mortimer in Mitcham for the super kind round of drinks after the show! What a treat for thirsty performers! Read more

Announcing Cosi Fan Tutte 2018!

Cast & Crew from Cosi Fan Tutte (2017) at The Off Westend Awards

We are extremely excited to announce that our OffWestEnd Finalist Best Opera Production of Cosi Fan Tutte is returning in June 2018 for a very limited number of performances!!

Since our new Die Fledermaus project takes place over 2018 and 2019, with the full production performances taking place in summer 2019, we wanted to ensure our audiences could have another opportunity to experience our 5 Star Cosi Fan Tutte this summer. Read more

Our new production supported by Wimbledon Foundation

Pop up Opera Performance at Wimbledon Foundation

Pop Up Opera Performance at Wimbledon Foundation

We are beyond thrilled to announce that we have been awarded funding by the Wimbledon Foundation’s new Arts and Community Engagement Fund (ACE) to create our next Merton Street Opera!

Following on from the success of Drifting Dragons (2016) and Cosi Fan Tutte (2017) we are now re-imagining Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus for free unticketed high street performances enabling everyone to experience high quality professional opera for free. Read more

Designing a production for six libraries across South London

Clapham Library

Clapham Library

So our design process for Reunion and Dark Pony is well underway! Our exciting Set & Costume designer Bex Kemp and I have started the process of thinking about how you design these plays for six different libraries! Read more about Bex’s previous work here.

We’ve been reading and discussing the plays, pulling out things we think are interesting and possibly useful to think about as well as visiting all of the libraries together. Each library is quite different so the plays will be a different experience in each library, each with its own problems to be solved and exciting, beautiful or unique elements to make the most of. We need to work out how the plays can work best in each of the six libraries to make the most of each individual space as well as telling the stories of these two plays as best as we can. Read more

Probably not one for the opera purists!

Ok, first things first – ‘libretto’ is just the opera name for the words that the characters sing. I’d not written one before and now, for our upcoming production of Cosi Fan Tutte, I’ve tried my hand at this for the first time. It was quite hard! But really fun and exhilarating at the same time. And having worked as Assistant Director on Opera North’s production a few years ago, I knew this story inside out and so had very clear ideas about what I wanted to cut to make a shorter version (which bits of music though lovely don’t move the plot forward etc) and how I wanted to re-imagine this story for the modern world around us.

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Merton Creative Networking Event

We are excited to be working with Attic Theatre Company and Merton Arts Space to bring together creative people living or working in the London Borough of Merton who may be interested in artistic collaboration in the area. We are holding an informal drinks and nibbles networking event on 15th May 2017 for artists of all disciplines to meet at Merton Arts Space to form new creative collaborations.

The event is hosted by Jonathan Humphreys, Artistic Director of Attic Theatre Company, and Joanna Turner, Artistic Director of Baseless Fabric in association with Merton Arts Space.

You do not need to be a professional artist – we are looking to get to know creative people of all disciplines who live or practice in the local area and are interested in artistic collaboration. You may be an old hand or a newbie or somewhere in between. You may have a definite role or just be curious to find out more. All are welcome.

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Drifting Dragons Cast Announced

We are excited to announce the cast for our upcoming production of ‘Drifting Dragons’. This production is a new street opera coming to the streets of Merton and we’re also taking it to the Arcola Theatre’s Grimeborn Opera Festival

 

Felicity-Buckland-headshotFelicity Buckland
Sadie

Felicity trained at the RNCM where she received the Eunice Pettigrew Prize and graduated with 1st Class Honours, and later on ENO’s Opera Works programme. She currently studies privately with Mary Plazas.

Her operatic appearances include Cherubino The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Up Close); Cupid Orpheus in the Underworld and Ida/cover Orlovsky Die Fledermaus (Opera Danube); Cunaide Iernin (Surrey Opera); Una, Kiss Me, Figaro! (Merry Opera) and Mercedes Carmen (Co-Opera Co). She has also spent seasons in the chorus at Opera Holland Park, Grange Park Opera where she covered Annina in La Traviata, and as a chorus mentor for Birmingham Opera.

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