As part of our exciting Die Fledermaus project we are running a series of workshops in primary and secondary schools across Merton & Wandsworth this July. These workshops teach young people about opera giving many of them an insight into an art form they might not otherwise encounter. They learn about what opera is and who is involved in creating it; the story and characters of Die Fledermaus and our modern adaptation; they learn to sing and act out the characters of a section of the opera themselves; and they get to hear a professionally trained opera singer sing right next to them and sing with her!
We can’t wait for our three talented workshop leaders to get working with all these schools in a few weeks. Meanwhile, you can learn a bit more about them here:
Danae Eleni – Soprano
In addition to a busy performing career, Danae Eleni is dedicated to education and contemporary music. Danae is a Visiting Lecturer at Yale-NUS (Singapore), where she co-taught a new undergraduate course, ”Writing for the Voice” earlier in the year, and led workshops with all the campus vocal groups in 2015. She has led opera workshops for Garsington Opera Education, and across the UK and the Middle East (including for a school in Saudi Arabia). As a storyteller and performance artist, she has recently performed for the Malala Fund and the Young Muslim Writers’ Awards.
Born in Bahrain, Anglo-Greek lyric soprano Danae Eleni read Psychology, Philosophy, Physiology and Phonetics at Worcester College (Oxford) and studied Voice at the Royal College of Music (London).
In 2017, Danae made her role debut as Sophie Der Rosenkavalier (Fulham Opera), covered Adina L’elisir d’amore (New Generation Festival – Florence) and premiered Oliver Brignall & Metta Theatre’s Roles: Susanna to over 3000 people (Opera Exhibition – V&A).
Opera credits include: Drusilla, Poppea (cover) L’Incoronazione di Poppea ; Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro ; Ilia Idomeneo ; Despina Cosi Fan Tutte ; Maria West Side Story Suites ; Musetta La Bohème & the title role in Gariné (UK premiere).
Concert credits include: Britten’s Les Illuminations ; Sark Opera Festival; Purcell Room; St John’s Smith Square; Blenheim Palace; and Poulenc Gloria LSO St Luke’s.
Danae is currently combining her love of music with her love of Mathematics, whilst researching 19th-21st century Greek Art Song for an upcoming CD recording. www.danaeeleni.com
Elliott Aynthony Ajai-Ajagbe Dale – Drama Practitioner
Elliott Aynthony Ajai-Ajagbe Dalehas worked with the Lyric Theatre for 10 years where he has run a variety of the flagship drama based youth inclusion programs such as START and REWIND and is currently lead practitioner for the youth drama program, ‘Acting Up’. He also runs freelance drama and spoken word workshops in schools for them and other theatres such as the BAC, Harts and Bush Theatre.
Elliott aka WordPlay is a storyteller through and through, skilled in both spoken and written word. As a spoken word artist he’s performed on some amazing stages and at some prestigious events including The Manorlogz Vox Africa, TedXYouth and the London 2012 Games. His written work has seen him teach across the world from London theatres to Portugal, Ghana and more. Having never grown out of his love of stories, he has made them his life, from poetry and plays to running with the bulls, surfing and jumping out of planes!… Now he’s turned that passion and inspiration into his first graphic novel Winter Solstice, out this Christmas
James Cleeve – Musical Director & Animateur
James is a freelance Musical Director and Animateur, working primarily in theatre and music education.
Recent projects include working as Music Director for the New Zealand Young Shakespeare Company at the Globe, running community singing workshops at the Young Vic, and conducting the world premiere of a song cycle for 200 children young people with HMDT.
For a number of years James conducted the annual Lambeth Singing Festival concerts for 900 children at the Festival Hall. He regularly works with The Southbank Centre, Spitalfields Music Trust and Saffron Hall, and in the past has run workshops with companies including English National Opera, English Touring Opera and Surrey Arts.
Outside of music education, recent theatrical projects have included: MD’ing the European premiere of Yank! The Musical in Manchester and its transfer into the Charing Cross Theatre London, and National Tours of The Sound of Music (Assistant MD), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (keys), and Top Hat (keys/accordion).