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Carehomes Carpark Die Fledermaus!

Die Fledermaus Arcola Theatre

David Horton as Eisenstein & James McOran-Campbell as Falke

Despite the grey January days this particularly bleak January we have something very exciting to look forward to this summer! With the hugest thanks to the Postcode Community Trust, we are thrilled that later this year when the weather warms up, Covid restrictions are lifted a little and hopefully many carehome residents will have received their vaccine, we are able to offer South West London carehomes a FULL PERFORMANCE of our acclaimed re-imagined Die Fledermaus (4 stars – The Guardian)!

As with our recent carehome concerts, these performances will again take place in the carpark or garden of the care homes to keep residents, staff and artists safe in these changing challenging times. And we are thrilled that this time rather than just concerts we can offer a full performance of Die Fledermaus giving residents and staff an opportunity to enjoy the full story of Strauss’ operetta.

Die Fledermaus (‘The Bat’ or Bat Man in our version!) is a hugely fun, often silly story with some brilliant characters and very catchy tunes. Our new production is reimagined for London life today, cut to approximately an hour, and with a new modern English libretto by Baseless Fabric Artistic Director Joanna Turner, and with the music re-written for violin, accordion and bassoon by Leo Geyer.

We also hope to be able to offer general public performances of Die Fledermaus this summer depending on Covid restrictions so make sure you join our newsletter to be first to hear.

Meanwhile, we’re dusting off the Batman costume and can’t wait to bring a smile to the faces of carehome residents and staff in Merton & Wandsworth this summer.

Whisked the frothy original into a nimble 50- minute snapshot of modern life- , The Guardian
It’s great fun, and Turner’s updating gives a ring of truth to the potentially farcical story.- , The Stage

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Ready to perform in the carpark!

This week we are kicking off our opera care homes project! Soprano Claire Wild and Pianist Elspeth Wilkes with a small team are visiting a number of different care homes in Merton & Wandsworth. We’re going to be Covid-19 safe with our team working in car parks and gardens at the care homes and have handgel, masks and thermometers at the ready!

 

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).

 

 

Elspeth Wilkes – Pianist

Born in Leigh-on-sea, Essex, Elspeth studied at King’s College, London, Trinity College of Music and Royal Academy of Music. She has performed at venues including St John’s Smith Square; Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House; St Martin-in-the-Fields; Kings Place; Trafalgar Studios; Savoy Theatre, West End as well as performing recitals in Greece, Spain, Portugal, France and South Africa. Elspeth has performed at the Ravenna music festival, Italy, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival where she won the ‘Oscar’ award.

Elspeth has worked with BBC Wales, Royal Ballet, Royal Shakespeare Company and Southbank Sinfonia and has performed for HRH The Princess Royal. She also performs regularly for the charities Lost Chord Foundation and Music in Hospitals working with people suffering from dementia.

Elspeth has worked as a repetiteur/musical director with many opera companies including Opera up Close (winning an Olivier award for La Boheme), Opera Brava, Merry Opera, Northern Ireland Opera, Kings Head Opera and Opera de Bauge.

Elspeth is the conductor of Thurrock Choral Society and assistant conductor of Barnes Choir and is a member of the Bridgetower Ensemble.

 

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Care home Carpark Opera!

Thanks to the generosity of Merton Giving and Wimbledon Foundation we are thrilled to be offering Merton & Wandsworth care homes an opera performance session in their garden or car park this autumn. Based on the successful format we have previously provided to older people’s lunch clubs at community organisations including Age UK, Commonside Trust and Wimbledon Guild we wanted to offer a musical session to help improve older people’s mental well-being during this difficult time. A professional opera singer and pianist will perform several songs and talk about their freelance careers and the work of Baseless Fabric in the garden or car park socially distanced from residents and staff.

If you know a local care home that would be interested and whose restrictions will allow for outdoor visitors this Sept please get in touch!

Meanwhile, we are also intending to offer care homes a full performance of our acclaimed modern English Die Fledermaus next year so that residents and staff can experience the joy of a full operatic story (and a very funny one with hilarious characters and super catchy tunes)! We currently have a fundraising target of £9k to give 6 care homes this opportunity (as well as providing work for 12 freelance professional artists who have all seen their income disappear during this crisis). We have various funding applications into trusts and foundations but if you are able to donate towards this joyful experience for local elderly please donate here!

Click to Support this Care Home Project!

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