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!
And it was super exciting to perform to a SOLD OUT audience in the new Merton Arts Space in Wimbledon Library. Not only was it creatively exciting for us to work out how to adapt our Cosi re-imagining for one indoor venue (albeit with more than one performance location), it was fantastic to work with this new upcoming local arts space and to see audiences appreciate our work in a slightly different context. We hope this means that we’ll be able to do more indoor performance adaptations in future – particularly in the winter months when the weather doesn’t make a street opera performance quite so possible!
Just like last year we had some lovely audience feedback from all three of our performances. Audiences who knew in advance that we’d be performing on the high street enjoyed seeing the reactions from unsuspecting shoppers as they stumbled across our professional opera singers and instrumentalists and seeing their surprise and confusion at what we were up to turning to engagement and enjoyment of the fun story. As one audience feedback respondent commented: “A real joy hearing LIVE music – difficult to believe it was only 3 players – and beautiful, powerful singing. People came in bewildered ‘what is going on?’ and then saw and heard live music and singing, and smiles spread over their faces! Wow!” We love seeing audiences who were not expecting to have their, often first, opera experience that day go through these mix of emotions, but adore how so many end up staying watching for quite a while and clearly enjoy the experience.
For our audience in Merton Arts Space it was brilliant to see audiences responding to our creative interpretation in the context of the story with one audience feedback respondent commenting “Absolutely Brilliant!! Jumped out of my seat when they started singing… Such powerful, beautiful voices, made my night!!” Audiences were able to enjoy our bold, modern adaptation in a beautiful atmospheric library with a glass of wine in hand and experience up close and personal the superb voices and playing of our professional singers and instrumentalists in an intimate environment (without the sound of loud buses going past or interrupted by “Surprising item on the bagging scale” in Morrisons!)
Other comments from feedback respondents this year include:
“It was fantastic…a breath of fresh air for Mitcham”
“What a very bold and very successful show. First class performances and music. Terrific!”
“Lovely. Beautiful singing and acting perfect for a modern audience to engage with opera.”
While one audience member said she’d recently seen a much bigger opera company’s Cosi and thought ours was even better!
“The libretto is OUTSTANDING. Altogether I’m sure Mozart would agree it couldn’t be bettered!”
We are truly super delighted to hear such feedback. So now we’re well on the way to the next opera re-imagining! Re-writing the music and words for Die Fledermaus is already underway – cutting characters out, cutting the story down, working out where to perform on the high street etc – so we’ll be back in touch with more info about that soon!