For the love of libraries….

As Mamet plays in libraries is a bit different to opera on the high street, we thought perhaps you might be interested to hear a bit more about our forthcoming production of Reunion and Dark Pony and why it’s taking place in libraries across South London.

Firstly, we aim to present one opera and one theatre production a year. Last year it was street opera Drifting Dragons and digital promenade theatre piece A Secret Life, which took the audience on a journey round the streets and ended up for a scene in the wonderful Mason’s Arms pub. Both of those projects were new pieces based on local people’s stories and inspired by the many local people across Merton and Wandsworth we spoke to about their memories.

This year we have left new stories to re-discover old ones and present them in unusual public places. You don’t often hear Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in the pub or the supermarket do you? But you do with us! So we wanted this year’s theatre production to also be a classic in an unexpected place.

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Chatting to Wandsworth Radio about Street Opera

Last Saturday Artistic Director Joanna Turner headed to Wandsworth Radio to talk about our Cosi Fan Tutte Production. To listen to the broadcast just click the play button above. She also talks a little about our next production by David Mamet as part of National Libraries Week, Reunion & Dark Pony.

We still have a few remaining Cosi Fan Tutte performances in Mitcham, Wimbledon Village and Wimbledon Town Centre. Check out the Cosi Fan Tutte production page for details.

Excited about singing in the supermarket? We ask our Cosi cast….

Cosi Fan Tutte Rehearsal

James, our Stage Manager, interviewed our singers and instrumentalists of the Cosi Fan Tutte Street opera in rehearsals this week…

What is your favourite opera or composer?

Tom Stoddart (Guglielmo):  “Favourite composer, Mahler, who never wrote any operas or Tchaikovsky. And my favourite opera is Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky.”

Simon Gfeller (Ferrando): “Favourite composer I think Mozart. But it’s generally the opera I’m doing at the moment as I fall in love really quickly with what I’m doing.”

Philip Smith (Don Alfonso): “La Bohème by Puccini would be my favourite opera quickly followed by quite a lot of Britten”

Claire Wild (Fiordiligi): “One of my favourite operas is Don Giovanni actually, Mozart. But I love La Bohème as well.” Read more

Do you think opera is for you?

Feedback from Bishop Gilpin School Opera workshop

Here at Baseless Fabric we are pretty passionate about giving everybody a chance to experience theatre and opera. Opera in particular is frequently seen as an art form that isn’t for ‘everyone’ and we truly believe it is and that everyone should have the chance to experience it. Luckily we have several wonderful funders who agree with this idea, including the brilliant Wimbledon Foundation who support charities in our home borough of Merton.

We were lucky enough to attend the exciting Wimbledon Championships this year and Artistic Director Joanna Turner was interviewed about the work that Baseless Fabric are doing to bring opera to new audiences and the opera workshops for young people and the elderly that Wimbledon Foundation have so kindly supported. Read more

Cosi Fan Tutte Street Opera Performance Dates

Musicians playing during 'Drifting Dragons' (2016) street opera

Musicians playing during ‘Drifting Dragons’ (2016) street opera

It’s all coming together for Cosi Fan Tutte Street Opera! We’re super excited to announce our performance dates across the borough of Merton with the starting point in each area. The first scene will take place in the place mentioned below but we’ll shortly be moving on to the next local business for the next scene. So come prepared to follow the story along the high street with scenes taking place in a variety of different businesses with just a short walk in between.  We’ve got some crackers of places this year! It’ll be huge fun. 

Running time is about an hour but don’t forget, you’re free to stay for as long or as little as you like. So if you’ve never seen opera before but can only stay for 10mins just come watch the first scene – what have you got to lose?!  Read more

Help us take opera to the high street!

Free Tea & Cake

We are looking for reliable, enthusiastic volunteers with an interest in theatre, music and community projects to help us create our Cosi Fan Tutte re-imagined for free on the high streets of Merton, South London.

No experience necessary – all training will be provided! Volunteers will get a sneak peek into our rehearsals and travel expenses covered on performance days. We also provide tea & cake! To find out further details please contact Artistic Director Joanna Turner.

Volunteers will get a sneak peek into our rehearsals and travel expenses covered on performance days. We also provide tea & cake! To find out further details please contact us!

Need more info? check out our Cosi Fan Tutte page.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Cosi Fan Tutte Cast Announced

We are delighted to announce our cast for the 2017 promenade performance of Cosi Fan Tutte:

The Cast

Claire Wild

Claire Wild – Fiordiligi

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. 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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Drinks, nibbles & creatives in the library!

What a fantastic evening we had last night meeting all sorts of amazing creative people in Merton! About 60 people joined us and Attic Theatre Company at the Merton Arts Space last night for drinks, nibbles and chatting about all the different creative activities going on in the borough.

It was brilliant to see faces from organisations we’ve previously collaborated with including Jigsaw4u, Merton & Morden Guild and Crown Lane Studios, as well as meet so many new people and hear about all the exciting creative things they’re up to. Writers from a variety of genres, composers and musicians of different styles, actors, singers, visual artists, music and drama teachers, directors, designers, producers, photographers, a magazine producer, talent agent, and am dram enthusiasts…. the list goes on! It was incredible to meet so many local people with exciting creative talents with allsorts of endeavours underway in different creative disciplines right here in Merton! We can’t wait to hear about your future projects! Read more

Cosi Fan Tutte Workshop Leaders

We’re kicking off our young people’s workshops this week as part of our Cosi Fan Tutte street opera project. We’ll be running workshops at various schools across the borough of Merton over the next few weeks teaching young people about Mozart, getting them singing a bit of the opera themselves and hearing our professional opera singer Felicity Buckland sing! Kindly supported by the Wimbledon Foundation, we’re super excited to be introducing lots of young people in Merton to Mozart’s fabulous music!! 

We’ll let you know soon how we get on but for now wanted to introduce you to our workshop leaders for this project – if we’re coming to your school or group you’ll get to meet these opera professionals over the next few weeks! And we’re all really looking forward to meeting you….. Read more