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Cosi in the Sunshine!

We had a fantastic time at Opera Holland Park’s brilliant Open Day a few weeks ago collaborating again on our adaptation of Cosi Fan Tutte. In the brilliant sunshine we gathered wonderful audiences to enjoy a bit of Mozart’s comedy in our updated BF style. Huge thanks to our fab cast, Fran Hills on piano, Leo Geyer, Constella for the arrangement with Joanna Turner‘s libretto, and the Opera Holland Park‘s team for organising.

After Cosi we also enjoyed a huge variety of other activities – concerts, craft activities, dance, stage combat and lighting workshops and the (growing up) Opera Toddlers were particularly focussed in the conducting workshop! Watch out Leo Geyer! 

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Banana songs & vegetable games…

What a brilliant week we had for our 3 Skills Sharing Workshops last week! We partnered again with Southwark Playhouse to offer drama and music practitioners a workshop on opera and our process of delivering opera workshops in primary schools and how their skills may be transferable to working in opera, while also partnering with Opera Holland Park to offer a workshop to opera singers in facilitating workshops for young people and how their opera skills can be used in this area. The workshops were intended to be a fun and useful experience in sharing skills and developing artists’ skillsets as well as enabling us to meet new practitioners to work with in the future.

A huge thank you to partners Southwark Playhouse and Opera Holland Park, funding from Arts Council England and all the brilliant practitioners who took part. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, silly games, tips and tricks for working with young people and introducing them to opera in a fun accessible way! We had so much fun, enjoyed sharing our ideas and learning from so many of your brilliant ideas. Not to mention some excellent and very silly games…!

 

 

 

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Cosi OHP Collaboration Returns!

We’re delighted to be reuniting with our Cosi Fan Tutte team as part of Opera Holland Park’s Inspire programme for two performances as part of the Opera Holland Park Open Day on Sunday 2nd June. 

Come join us on the steps at Opera Holland Park to catch part of our acclaimed 2017 adaptation! More details of the whole Open Day and how to get to Opera Holland Park here.

Come along – it’s free!

Date/Time: Sunday 2nd June @ 12noon & 1pm
Where: Opera Holland Park Theatre, Ilchester Place, London W8 6LU
Nearest station: Holland Park (central line) or High Street Kensington (circle/district lines)
More details on how to find us here: https://operahollandpark.com/your-visit/how-to-find-us/

 
Music Leo Geyer, Constella Music
Libretto Joanna Turner

CAST

Fiordiligi – Lucy Anderson 

Dorabella – Shakira Tsindos

Ferrando – Philip Costovski

Guglielmo – Jack Holton

Don Alfonso – Alex Jones

Piano – Fran Hills

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Join our Skills Sharing Workshops!

Come join us!! 

We are thrilled to once again be offering our Skills Sharing Workshops to promote artists’ skills development including knowledge of opera and working with young people thanks to our recent funding from Arts Council England.

This May we are delighted to be partnering again with Southwark Playhouse following our successful collaboration on these workshops in 2021 to offer drama and music practitioners a workshop on opera and our process of delivering opera workshops in primary schools and how their skills may be transferable to working in opera. And following this success, we are also partnering with Opera Holland Park to offer a workshop to opera singers who may have limited experience in facilitating workshops for young people and how their opera skills can be used in this area. We encourage artists of all levels to apply and we hope that the workshops will be a fun and useful experience in developing artists’ skillsets as well as enabling us to meet new practitioners to work with in the future! 

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 artists should be representative of the South London areas in which we work. As such, we warmly encourage artists of colour to apply.

“Thank you so much for such an inspiring afternoon. Thank you for making it so warm and inclusive, and making us all feel welcome wherever we had come from.”

Workshops are FREE to attend but spaces are limited so if you’re interested please sign up here for Southwark Playhouse and here for Opera Holland Park by 19th April or contact us for more details.

We look forward to meeting you!

 

 

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Singing, dancing & sharing ideas for Street Opera!

Following our session with the brilliant Roehampton Base Youth Club as part of the adaptation process of our new street opera, we also visited the Elders Group at Katherine Low Settlement to share our work and pick their brains! The lovely Elspeth Wilkes led some vocal warm ups with the group, accompanied Claire Wild singing a few numbers from opera, musical theatre and well known songs to get everyone singing along and we showed filming and discussed how we rewrite and adapt operas for high street performances. Elspeth even got the group singing an opera chorus and some of the group joined in dancing! We also discussed some of the problems of adapting Elixir of Love for London life today and the group had lots of brilliant ideas for solving them – thank you for your help! Another brilliant session as part of our adaptation and we can’t wait to be back later in the process to share some of the scenes we’ve created. Meanwhile Jo needs to get her head down in the libretto and Leo is hard at work on those dots….

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Drama games, dazzling ideas and descants…

As part of the adaptation process to re-write The Elixir of Love into a modern English street opera for London life today, the team this year are also working with two local community groups who we wanted to engage further in the process of our work.

Previously when we’ve done our street performances at and around Roehampton Base Youth Club we’ve had such fantastic responses from the brilliant young people that we thought it would be a good idea to visit them at a much earlier stage of the process. And what an amazing time we had with the group! SO much laughter and SO many brilliant ideas from all of the young people and staff. Nadege led drama games, Leo played the bassoon, Claire sang and led vocal warm ups, and we discussed The Elixir of Love and ideas for who the characters would be and how the story might work in London today. The group were just as brilliant at Eastenders Zip Zap Boing as helping us sort out some of the story’s problems! Thank you so much to everyone involved, to the brilliant Roehampton Base team for organising, to Arts Council England for funding – and we absolutely can’t wait to be back very soon!

 

 

 

 

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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!

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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!

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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!!

 

 

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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!

CAST

Fiordiligi – Lucy Anderson

Dorabella – Shakira Tsindos

Ferrando – Philip Costovski

Guglielmo – Jack Holton

Don Alfonso – Alex Jones

Piano – Fran Hills