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.”

Felicity Buckland (Dorabella): “My favourite opera is L’enfant et les sortilèges by Ravel. Favourite composer depends on my mood, maybe possibly Sondheim”

Olivia Jarvis – Violin: “I guess my favourite would be Der Rosenkavalier” 

Leo Geyer – Arranger/MD/Bassoon: “If I had to choose I’d probably go for Stravinsky because he kind of kick started so many different styles of music but then the character of his music is always crystal clear through all of it”

Bartosz Glowacki – Accordion: “I would say Górecki is my favourite composer and opera wise, Carmen”

 

Cosi Fan Tutte Rehearsal

How are you feeling about performing opera on the high street?

Olivia: “Excited, it’s different and it’s nice as it’s not so formal, there’s more interaction. Also the audience feel that they’re part of it rather than an us and them.”

Simon: “I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to come with a whole bunch of challenges but it will allow us as singers to really test out boundaries and allow us to be more flexible, adaptable and adjustable but will also help give us a greater sense of immediacy with the audience.”

Tom: “I’ve done things like it before, actually, but it’s always exciting to do stuff where anything can happen.”

Philip: “I’m intrigued to see how it’s all going to work and the reactions of the public, certainly in areas where people may have never heard opera before and how they’ll respond.”

Claire: “Excited! It’s quite terrifying as well about how people will react.”

Felicity: “I did it last year and I think it will be even more fun.”

 

Cosi Fan Tutte Rehearsals

What do you think your character would drink at the pub?

Tom (Guglielmo): “European beers probably, lagers probably.”

Simon (Ferrando): “He’s a bit of a high end banker so he’d probably drink some sort of a fancy scotch or a special gin.”

Philip (Don Alfonso): “Pints of whatever the best beer is but he’d probably also order champagne if he was trying to impress!”

Claire (Fiordiligi): “Fiordiligi would drink dry white wine.”

Felicity (Dorabella): “Either a G&T or a cocktail, whatever she thought was trendy!”

 

Cosi Fan Tutte Rehearsal

If we met you in the supermarket what would you have in your shopping basket?

Claire: “Anything that involved prosecco and lamb shanks. Booze is always in my shopping basket!”

Tom: “Crisps and dips is basically what I just eat and maybe chicken. Crisps, dips and chicken – terrible diet!”

Bartosz: “Hummus and probably some strawberries.”

Philip: “I buy so much I usually have a trolley…”

 

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

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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Come and see Cosi Fan Tutte in development!

Drifting Dragons (2016), at Morrisons

We’re currently in the middle of our Research & Development for Cosi Fan Tutte, working out how to adapt a 3 hour Italian opera with full orchestra to the high street (perhaps not the easiest task!) But don’t worry, it’s sung with a new modern English text, our singers accompanied by 3 instrumentalists (bassoon, accordion and violin) and we’ve ruthlessly cut it down to about an hour.

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Announcing our Cosi Fan Tutte R&D Cast

We are proud to announce our singers for the Cosi Fan Tutte street opera R&D. 

The Cast

Felicity Buckland – Dorabella

Felicity Buckland

Felicity trained at the RNCM, and on ENO’s Opera Works programme. She studies privately with Mary Plazas.

Her operatic appearances include Angelina La Cenerentola (High Time Opera); Cherubino The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Up Close); Cupid Orpheus in the Underworld and Ida/cover Orlovsky Die Fledermaus (Opera Danube); Una, Kiss Me, Figaro! (Merry Opera) and Mercedes Carmen (Co-Opera Co). She has also spent seasons in the chorus at Opera Holland Park, as a chorus mentor for Birmingham Opera, and at English Touring Opera, where she also sang the role of Mama in Dust Child, a specially-written opera for children with special educational needs.

Felicity is in demand for solo oratorio, and performs and records extensively as a professional consort singer, including appearing on Eric Whitacre’s Grammy Award-winning choral disc, Light and Gold. She is also a singing tutor and experienced choral animateur, leading workshops for a variety of groups of people.

Felicity is currently preparing the role of Rossweisse in Die Walküre for Grange Park Opera, in their brand new theatre at West Horsley Place. Read more

Announcing our new production

Following the success of our new Merton street opera Drifting Dragons last year, we are delighted to announce our 2017 street opera production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. It’s a story about love and friendship, cheating, and testing the one you love. Both funny and moving, we’re sure you’ll love following our characters rather complicated love lives taking place on the streets of Merton!

Drifting Dragons (2016)

Our performances will be completely free and unticketed in a variety of places in Merton town centres high – popping up in cafes, pubs, supermarkets, libraries and perhaps at the bus stop! We hope you’ll follow our story and hear the beautiful music as you’re going about your normal life. Perhaps you can do the weekly shop and see some opera at the same time?!

We’re again partnering with Merton Music Foundation to offer local schools complimentary workshops teaching young people about opera, and with organisations such as the New Horizon Centre and Merton & Morden Guild to engage local elderly people with this fantastic story of love, confusion and betrayal. We’ll keep you updated with what we get up to as we go along. Read more

Composing Drifting Dragons

Drifting Dragons outside M&S. Photo: Oliver.john Works

Drifting Dragons outside M&S. Photo: Oliver.john Works

It was a daunting prospect. Write an opera? I had written a considerable amount of instrumental music and songs for theatre before but never an opera. This would be something new.

Those who have been following the Drifting Dragons journey will know that it began life around a year ago. Joanna Turner, Artistic Director of Baseless Fabric, wanted to create a promenade opera about the lives of Londoners. She was looking for a composer and I nervously but eagerly raised my hand across cyberspace. Before long we had agreed to work together and were interviewing local people in Merton (Baseless Fabric’s home borough) about their views on opera, as well as finding out about their lives and memories, which would ultimately feed into the story of Drifting Dragons. The theme for the opera soon established itself as friendship and how over time it can be rocked by setbacks and challenges. I set to work writing the libretto and music for a short work-in-progress performance at the Wimbledon Theatre at the end of January 2016. Read more

Interviews with the cast of Drifting Dragons

We had a chat with our cast of Drifting Dragons about what they really put in their supermarket shopping basket. Check us out in your local Morrisons this week!


Greg Harradine

Greg Harradine

Name: Greg Haradine

What do you play and where did you train? “Piano and Guitar and I trained at Kingston University and did a degree in Music Technology then a Masters for Composing for Film and TV.”

What made you decide to be a composer? “Music has always been the thing I love doing, not wanting to practise an instrument for hours, composing seemed to be the thing to do!

What do you do in your spare time? “I enjoy cycling and running, reading, but also hanging out with my friends”

If we bumped into you in the supermarket, what would you have in your shopping basket? “Tough one, I’d have lots of fruit and veg, bit of salmon maybe, some chicken and also some eggs, I’m a simple guy!” Read more

Cast announced for ‘Drifting Dragons’

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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