Two girls catch the eye of two good looking guys across a crowded room at a party and fuelled by a couple of glasses of wine and having checked their make-up decide to go over and chat to them. A scene that happens all the time across many a crowded room. Except that this time our two girls were Fiordiligi and Dorabella singing a duet from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte from Baseless Fabric’s new adaptation with arrangement by Leo Geyer and libretto by Joanna Turner.
Last Sunday night Team Cosi Fan Tutte donned their sparkly dresses and tux for the Off West End Awards at The Albany Theatre where we were a finalist for the Best Opera Production award! We were delighted so many of the original team could make it and had a fantastic night catching up on everyone’s news over champagne and canapés!
It’s the start of a new year so it’s that time of year that gets you thinking about what you’ve achieved over the last year. We had a big year in 2017 with two massively successful productions – Cosi Fan Tutte and Reunion & Dark Pony – both of which included professional performances, workshops for young people, and for Cosi also sessions for the elderly, not to mention re-writing the music and libretto for the high street! We loved working with so many shops, cafes, supermarkets and libraries for performances, especially being part of National Libraries Week for our Reunion & Dark Pony production. Our Cosi Fan Tutte further embedded our work in our home borough of Merton, while Reunion & Dark Pony took us further across South London to Southwark, Lambeth and Wandsworth as well as our first performances in the new Merton Arts Space in Wimbledon Library. Read more
-So, this is for you?
The man in the wig shop was gesturing for me to try on the brunette wig he was holding in his hands.
-Oh no, it’s actually for a man, the director Joanna pitched in.
-For a man? Is he dressing up as a lady? Said the bemused wig vendor.
Joanna smiled and explained that she is putting on a new adaptation of Cosi Fan Tutte and in this version, our two suitors, Ferrando and Guglielmo –are city bankers dressing up as grungey surfers to seduce their unsuspecting girlfriends to win a bet. The wigs are a part of the costume our bankers don to deceive their supposedly faithful girlfriends. Of course, our bankers are betting that they will fail and their girlfriends will remain as faithful as they believe them to be, but who can resist a rough but charming surfer? Especially with that hair! Read more
Firstly, we are so excited to have been nominated for the Offies Best Opera Production award by OffWestEnd.com after one of their assessors saw our Morden performance. The nominations continue over the year with the 2017 winners announced early 2018 – so keep your fingers crossed and watch this space!!
And we couldn’t be more thrilled by our 5 and 4 star reviews from Operissima and LondonTheatre1 respectively. You can read the full reviews at the links below or check out the Cosi Fan Tutte page for some of the quotations we’ve picked out. Read more
Last Saturday Artistic Director Joanna Turner headed to Wandsworth Radio to talk about our Cosi Fan Tutte Production. To listen to the broadcast just click the play button above. She also talks a little about our next production by David Mamet as part of National Libraries Week, Reunion & Dark Pony.
We still have a few remaining Cosi Fan Tutte performances in Mitcham, Wimbledon Village and Wimbledon Town Centre. Check out the Cosi Fan Tutte production page for details.
Our Cosi Fan Tutte performances are now well underway and we’re getting fantastic reactions both from audiences who’ve come along especially to see us and people who we’ve surprised while they’ve been doing the shopping or having a pint in the pub! So far we’ve had scenes popping up in Tooting, Pollards Hill, Raynes Park and Colliers Wood.
Who’d have thought you’d hear the Cosi opening trio of the boys making the bet to test their girlfriends whilst playing pool in the Raynes Park Tavern, or the girls deciding which disguised boy to flirt with in the jewellery section in Colliers Wood M&S? I think my personal favourite though was the boys singing their conversation about whether their girlfriends have cheated whilst coming down the escalator in the Qube shopping centre!
The hugest thanks to all the amazing businesses who’ve given us permission for performing in their stores – we really appreciate your help in bringing opera to everyone in Merton! Read more
James, our Stage Manager, interviewed our singers and instrumentalists of the Cosi Fan Tutte Street opera in rehearsals this week…
What is your favourite opera or composer?
Tom Stoddart (Guglielmo): “Favourite composer, Mahler, who never wrote any operas or Tchaikovsky. And my favourite opera is Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky.”
Simon Gfeller (Ferrando): “Favourite composer I think Mozart. But it’s generally the opera I’m doing at the moment as I fall in love really quickly with what I’m doing.”
Philip Smith (Don Alfonso): “La Bohème by Puccini would be my favourite opera quickly followed by quite a lot of Britten”
Due to popular demand, we are adding an additional performance of Cosi Fan Tutte at Wimbledon Piazza in the heart of Wimbledon. Last year the Wimbledon performance was really popular so do get there early if you want to catch us this year!
DATES: 27th July – 6th August 2017
There were nine performance locations across the Merton borough.
|Thursday 27th July||5 pm||TOOTING (starting at Gorringe Park Pub, SW17 9HW)|
|Friday 28th July||12.45pm||POLLARDS HILL (starting at New Horizon Centre cafe, CR4 1LT)|
|Friday 28th July||5 pm||RAYNES PARK (starting at the Raynes Park Tavern, SW20 0LA)|
|Wed 2nd August||1 pm||COLLIERS WOOD (starting at M&S Cafe, Savacentre/The Qube, SW19 1DD)|
|Thurs 3rd August||1 pm||MORDEN (starting on the forecourt outside the Civic Centre, SM4 5DX)|
|Thurs 3rd August||5 pm||WIMBLEDON (starting at Patisserie Valerie, Wimbledon Piazza, SW19 1QB)|
|Friday 4th August||1 pm||MITCHAM (starting at the Kings Arms, CR4 3HD)|
|Saturday 5th August||4 pm||WIMBLEDON VILLAGE (starting at the Dog & Fox, SW19 5EA)|
|Sunday 6th August||3 pm||WIMBLEDON (starting at Wimbledon Piazza, SW19 1QB)|
Here at Baseless Fabric we are pretty passionate about giving everybody a chance to experience theatre and opera. Opera in particular is frequently seen as an art form that isn’t for ‘everyone’ and we truly believe it is and that everyone should have the chance to experience it. Luckily we have several wonderful funders who agree with this idea, including the brilliant Wimbledon Foundation who support charities in our home borough of Merton.
We were lucky enough to attend the exciting Wimbledon Championships this year and Artistic Director Joanna Turner was interviewed about the work that Baseless Fabric are doing to bring opera to new audiences and the opera workshops for young people and the elderly that Wimbledon Foundation have so kindly supported. Read more