Welcoming Madeleine to our team!

We are very excited to have Madeleine Thorne working with us this year as our Community Engagement Producer / General Manager. Madeleine brings a wealth of experience working with people from a huge range of different backgrounds and engaging them with opera and theatre in fun accessible ways. So that you could get to know Madeleine we asked her a few questions….

What excites you most about working with Baseless Fabric?

I’ve been really interested in the company’s work for a long time – my role at Opera North was all about making opera and the performing arts more accessible to a wider range of people, and it’s such a passion of mine, so I can’t wait to be a part of Baseless Fabric and learn more about how they achieve these things!

What other projects have you been working on recently?

I have been having an amazing time developing an early years performance about tooth fairies with a musician and fellow actor. It’s great fun playing a fairy and I can’t wait until we can get the show in front of some children and see what they think!

Tell us about 3 of your favourite theatre or opera experiences ever.

It’s so difficult to narrow it down as I am lucky to have had so many incredible experiences! But I’ll go with one of my earliest memories – crying and refusing to leave after seeing Peter Pan (starring Bonnie Langford!) with my mum as I didn’t want it to be over, I’ve wanted to work in theatre ever since!

The second one is directing Noughts and Crosses when I was Youth Theatre Director at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield – the young cast were absolutely fantastic and I was so proud of the show we created together!

And then the last one would have to be an Opera North production – it’s hard to pick just one but I’ll go with The Greek Passion because producing it allowed us to do so much awareness raising around what it’s like to be someone who is seeking asylum in the UK, an issue which is very close to my heart. And it was a brilliant show!


We’re recruiting! Come join us!

As we get started on our new street opera project and lots of different engagement activities across South London, we are excited to be recruiting for a new part time Community Engagement Producer / General Manager to work with Artistic Director Joanna Turner to run these activities. So if you love working with schools, young people, carehomes and artists; really making opera for everyone today; radical interpretations; organising everybody; and creative & logistical chats over cups of tea then take a look at the Work With Us page and get in touch! We can’t wait to hear from you!


Our next street opera!

We are super excited to announce that we have received funding from several amazing funders including Arts Council England and Wandsworth Council towards the Research & Development of our next street opera adaptation and a whole heap of associated activities – school workshops, elderly concerts & artist development. And this time it’s Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love so think love triangles, love potions & silliness all happening on South London high streets today. The adaptation will be written by the team behind our previous street opera adaptations – composer Leo Geyer and librettist Joanna Turner – so they will get cracking over the next few months and we’ll be sure to invite you to a taster sharing later in the year…. Exciting times!!




Opera Holland Park Team Cosi!

We had a great time last month collaborating with the Opera Holland Park team for a pop up performance of our Cosi Fan Tutte in Chelsea & Westminster Hospital as part of their Inspire programme. Thank you to all the Baseless Fabric loyal supporters who came along to see it – and we had some wonderful reactions from newbies too including:

“It brightened up my day”

“It reminded me of the days when I used to go to the opera”

“I just had an awful appointment and watching this really cheered me up”

It was lovely to revisit such a fun production from our early street opera days with a brilliant new cast and in a new location – and a new piano score re-arranged by our longterm collaborator Leo Geyer, Constella Music. Hopefully we’ll be able to make more of these collaborations happen in future too so stay posted!

With hugest thanks to the team for all their hard work!


Fiordiligi – Lucy Anderson

Dorabella – Shakira Tsindos

Ferrando – Philip Costovski

Guglielmo – Jack Holton

Don Alfonso – Alex Jones

Piano – Fran Hills



Cosi Fan Tutte Collaboration with Opera Holland Park!

We are thrilled to announce that we have a pop up performance coming up this November in collaboration with Opera Holland Park! We are partnering with the lovely team at OHP to present a 25min section of our adaptation of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in the foyer of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital on Wednesday 15th November at 1.30pm. Usually OHP present a simple monthly concert of opera & classical songs here but we convinced them to try something a bit different!

Our Cosi Fan Tutte, first seen back in 2017, was the OffWestEnd Award Finalist for Best Opera Production and gained 5 star reviews from Operissima. With a modern English libretto by Joanna Turner (with new 2023 updates – because social media has changed since then don’t ya know!!) and a new piano arrangement by Leo Geyer, Constella Music as this won’t be a promenade performance but Chelsea & Westminster Hospital have a piano in their foyer!

So come join us on 15th November to see a revival of our Baseless Fabric adaptation in an exciting new space! We can’t wait to see you there!

What amazed me about the Baseless Fabric experience is how naturally this production fits into its locations, a testament to the scrupulous research work which must have gone on beforehand, as well as the quality of everyone’s performances.- , Operissima
This production is tremendous fun- ,



Carmen Concerts!

Following on from the success of both our full re-imagined Carmen production this summer and also our successful concerts for carehomes and local elderly organisations over the last couple of years, we’ve had a brilliant week visiting Merton & Wandsworth organisations for a concert as part of our Carmen 2022 programme of activities.

It’s been such fun visiting both carehomes that we’ve developed a relationship with over Covid & also going back to organisations such as Wimbledon Guild and Katherine Low Settlement that we’ve not been to since pre-Covid. And we’ve made friends with a couple of new places to – Hestia in Tooting and Sparkle in Putney. It’s been lovely time seeing old friends including the amazing 102 year old Sheila and meeting new people like Peter with his encyclopaedic knowledge of music. We even had some nursery children join in with their grandfriends at Sparkle who run intergenerational activities.

We were also delighted to welcome 2 new practitioners to this area of our work – the lovely baritone Philip Smith (Don Alfonso in our Cosi Fan Tutte & Escamillo in our Carmen R&D) and brilliant pianist Yllka Istrefi. They delighted the audiences with a variety of pieces from opera, musical theatre, classical songs, piano solos and of course a bit of Baseless Fabric’s re-imagined Carmen!

We had a fantastic time performing these concerts and to hear so many people joining in with singing and clapping along to ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and ‘On The Street Where You Live’. We even had the Sparkle nursery children marching to Vaughan Williams’ ‘The Vagabond’ and pretending to be fish for Schubert’s ‘Die Forelle’! Big smiles all round!





What’s on at Grimeborn 2022?

2022 marks the 15th year of Grimeborn Festival at the Arcola Theatre. Our reimagining of Carmen will run as part of the festival from 9th – 13th August at 7pm. Click here to book tickets.

The festival programme for 2022 is brilliant as always and we are delighted to be part of it. Here are just a few of the other productions you can catch this year: Read more


Not just Samantha….

I’ve never been that interested in the idea of a ‘femme fatale’. What is that in today’s society? What woman is that confident/arrogant about her own attractiveness? I doubt anyone seen as gorgeously attractive – even a Hollywood star for example – doesn’t also have their own physical insecurities. Read more


What do LEGO, Peter Brook and Beyoncé have in common?

They’ve all done re-imaginings of Carmen!

Reimagining Carmen – one of the most famous operas fullstop – for our Baseless Fabric #HighStCarmen version definitely feels more weighted than our previous Cosi Fan Tutte or Die Fledermaus. There is so much history to it and so many people have so many opinions on both the character of Carmen and the story itself! However, it is also one of the most adapted stories – in fact Bizet and his librettist collaborators (Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy) adapted it themselves from Prosper Mérimée’s novella. And we are never ones to back down from a challenge of a bold re-imagining so here’s some of the good company we’re in – you might find a new favourite interpretation of this story yourself! Read more


Want to feel ‘part of the show’?

We always need a few extra pairs of hands at our Street Opera performances helping out our Stage Management – giving out flyers, moving the musicians’ music stands and keeping an eye on audiences’ safety crossing roads. It’s a fab way to be part of an exciting local community event and great fun! But don’t just take our word for it – ask Kathie, who’s helped us out at our productions over the last few years and comes back each time! Read more