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Gearing Up for Carehome Concerts

We are just one week away from our carehome concerts. Thanks to the support of the Postcode Community Trust, Soprano Claire Wild and Pianist Carla Ruaro and a small team will be bringing an hour of opera and musical joy to the gardens and carparks of 8 carehomes across Wandsworth and Merton.

 

Claire Wild

CLAIRE WILD – SOPRANO

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, Welsh National Opera as Emma in Khovanshchina and Garsington Opera as Caridad The Skating Rink, a newly commissioned opera by David Sawer.

Concert repertoire includes ElijahMessiah‚ Carmina Burana, Bach St Matthew Passion, Mozart C Minor Mass. She has performed Dallapicolla Commiato and Stravinsky Pulcinella (Royal Northern Sinfonia) and Christmas and New Year Galas (Raymond Gubbay, Orchestra of Opera North, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and London Concert Orchestra) and Messiah (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra).

 

Carla Ruaro

CARLA RUARO  – PIANIST

Carla is a pianist, researcher and educator dedicated to contemporary music. Carla holds a Master’s Degree in Music Performance & Related Studies – Goldsmiths University of London. She was executive director of the social organization Amazonart UK, where she developed social, cultural and educational projects in England and Brazil. Between 2006 and 2012 Carla worked for the British scheme Live Music Now in London, a cultural institution founded by Yehudi Menuhin where she gave workshops and concerts of Brazilian music throughout England, Ireland and the Arab Emirates. In 2012, she won the Funarte Prize with the project “Multiplying Brazilian Music in the Amazon”, where she began the plans to bring the piano to the riverside communities of the Amazon. In 2017 she carried out her first project, a film documentary and a CD called “A Piano in the Amazon” winner of several awards at film festivals in USA, Brazil, Finland and Morocco.

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Bizet meets TikTok and 10 year olds!

Our After School Club at Links Primary is now well underway and the school hall is filled with the sounds of Toreador and Habanera sung by our wonderful group of Years 4-6 and our brilliant workshop leaders Bim and Ruth. 

A few weeks ago Fizz Buckland, who plays Carmen in our professional production this summer, also joined the group for a few games, to discuss the characters and story, and of course to sing! So the group were able to hear what her (very loud!) voice sounds like and ask her questions about what it’s like to be an opera singer.

The group will be creating their own new songs and scenes inspired by Carmen over the coming months leading to their own performance this summer. Congrats to everyone involved for their hard work this term and we look forward to seeing you again after the Easter holidays! 

 

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Musical joy in Carehomes’ carparks!

We are thrilled that thanks to an extremely kind grant from Postcode Community Trust we are able to provide more concerts for carehomes in Merton & Wandsworth this spring! 

Our highly successful concerts have taken place in the gardens and carparks of carehomes throughout the pandemic to spread a little musical joy to residents and staff. Our 2021 concerts reached 137 residents and 30 staff at 8 local carehomes with 98% reporting an improvement in mental wellbeing! So if you run a local carehome and would like one of our FREE concerts this May please get in touch!!

The support from Postcode Community Trust, which is a grant giving trust funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, will also cover some of our core costs this spring and as a small organisation we are so hugely grateful for this support. The hugest thanks to all the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for helping us to improve the wellbeing of local older people through music!

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Opera Club is underway at Links Primary

Since the start of term the hallways have been ringing with the Habanera at Links Primary School as our latest community project gets underway.

Each week a group of children attend an After School Opera Club run by Baseless Fabric and in partnership with Jigsaw4U. Our fantastic facilitators Bimpe Adeyemi and Ruth Routledge are working with the children to teach them about Bizet’s Carmen, and support them in creating and writing their own show inspired by the opera.

Ruth Routledge

Bimpe Adeyemi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The children will work with Bimpe and Ruth over the next two terms singing, acting, writing and devising together. Their work will culminate in a performance in July for family, friends, teachers and for the team of performers and creatives working on Baseless Fabric’s professional production of Carmen. 

In turn the opera club will take a trip to watch our professional Carmen production and see Baseless Fabric in action popping up on the high street.

We are looking forward to seeing how the children grow and learn over the course of this 7-month project and can’t wait for the performance of their Carmen-inspired creation in July.

A massive thank you to the Wimbledon Foundation and Three Monkies Trust for supporting this project.

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Cast Announced for our Carmen R&D!

Tomorrow marks the start of our research and development workshop for our latest re-imagining, Carmen. This follows on from our acclaimed Die Fledermaus (4 stars The Guardian & The Stage) and Cosi Fan Tutte (Best Opera Production Finalist, OffWestEnd Awards). Over the course of 3 days we will be exploring our version of the piece, with a new modern English libretto by Joanna Turner, and score for violin, accordion and bassoon arranged by Leo Geyer.

Our work will culminate in a free sharing at 4.30pm at Lantern Arts Centre. If you’d like to attend you can sign up for tickets here.

We will be joined by a wonderful cast:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joining the team will be Accordionist, Ilona Suomalainen and Violinist, Henry Rankin as well as a Designer, Marina Hadjilouca and Fight Director, Natalia Bogdanova. Taking the helm as Director will be Baseless Fabric’s own Joanna Turner with Leo Geyer as Musical Director. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can’t wait to get to work and watch our re-imagining come to life in the hands of this incredible team!

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Be the first to see our new reimagined Carmen!

Die Fledermaus (2019) Production

Following on from our success of Die Fledermaus we have been busy reimagining Carmen and this is your first chance to take a peek at what we’ve been doing!

On 4th November at 4.30 pm we will be showing selected scenes from our reimagined Carmen production. This is a FREE event but we have limited capacity so if you are interested in attending please submit the following form and we will confirm your seats.

Die Fledermaus (2019) Production

We will be following government and venue COVID guidelines so we will be confirming these with you nearer the time.

Any questions let us know in the comments section on the form!

Sign up to the FREE R&D Opera Event!

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Skill Sharing Workshop for Facilitators – Work with us in 2022!

We are delighted to be partnering with Southwark Playhouse to offer a free opera skills sharing workshop from 1pm to 4pm on Friday 8th October 2021.

We are looking to meet facilitators who are interested in learning about opera and how their skills may be transferable to working in opera in future, and for us to meet talented facilitators to work with Baseless Fabric on our 2022 projects which will range from one-off sessions to long term programmes.

We recognise that opera is traditionally a white middle class artform and the lack of diversity in the arts is one of the sector’s most important issues. We strongly believe not only that opera is for everyone but that our casts and workshop leading teams should be representative of the South London areas in which we perform and where we provide young people with our opera workshops. As such, we strongly encourage theatre facilitators of colour to apply.

Practitioners will not need any prior experience in or knowledge of opera to attend. We actively encourage practitioners of all levels to register.

Places are limited so please sign up for a place by filling in this short form: Workshop Sign Up

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact our Community Engagement Producer: [email protected]

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Introducing Opera to Merton and Wandsworth Schools

Across 2 weeks in July, 14 workshops were delivered to 8 primary and secondary schools in Wandsworth & Merton. Sports halls were filled with the sounds of the Toreador Song and the moves from the latest TikTok trends as the children were introduced to Baseless Fabric’s adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen by our wonderful team of facilitators Rachel Maby, Juliane Gallant and Elliott Daley.

Feedback from the students has been wonderful. 99% of students said that they liked the workshop with 81% of those saying they loved it. 85% of students said that after the workshop they would now definitely attend or consider attending an opera. When asked what they had learnt during the session answers ranged from as specific as “the position of the larynx when singing” to simply “that I like opera!” and “that opera can be fun!”

Possibly one of the most rewarding parts of these workshops is that our facilitators see the impact the experience can have on the students, and even see growth in the confidence and interest of individual children over the course of the session. For example, student ‘P’ started his session with his back to the facilitators. During the course of the workshop he became more interested, especially when Juliane compared music to his favourite subject, maths. By the end ‘P’ was fully involved, excited and he wanted to answer ALL the questions! Read more

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Opera Taster Workshops Are Underway

This week marked the start of our Carmen Opera Taster Workshops to 8 primary and secondary schools in Wandsworth & Merton. The workshops were organised with the help of the lovely teams as Merton Music Foundation and Wandsworth Music and will be delivered over the next 2 weeks by our brilliant team of facilitators – Rachel Maby, Juliane Gallant, Elliott Daley and Elizabeth Humphries.

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Care Home Concerts Return!

Claire & Elspeth

Following the success of our concerts in September 2020, our covid-safe Care Home Concerts are returning this May! Thanks to the generosity of Wimbledon Foundation and Merton Giving, we will be performing for residents and staff from the gardens and carparks of care homes across Wandsworth and Merton.

We are thrilled that Soprano Claire Wild and Pianist Elspeth Wilkes will be returning to deliver these concerts with us. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram where we’ll be posting throughout the project.

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