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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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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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And the word was FUN!

We asked Elliott, our workshop leader for the St John Bosco College Parallel Production to give us an idea of what the groups are getting up to….

St Marks Primary School Workshop

In the beginning was the word, and the word was FUN! Toward the tail end of 2018, I was lucky enough to lead taster workshops for both our prospective primary and secondary school cohorts. The plan, to take Baseless Fabric’s modernised version of the classic, ‘Die Fledermaus’ and go wild with it; adding characters and scenes or doing them in new and different ways, learning to sing with correct operatic technique, acting, song and script writing and of course we play games! As you can imagine the reception was fantastic and our taster sessions were so much fun, we had scenes set anywhere from a hilarious family dinner, just after Eisenstein had gotten in trouble with the police, to a party at the top of a mountain and a marriage counselling session between Eisenstein and Rosalinde on the moon. Read more

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“Altogether I’m sure Mozart would agree it couldn’t be bettered!”

Cosi Fan Tutte 2018 Qube Centre, Colliers Wood

What a wonderful and busy time we had reviving our Cosi Fan Tutte production last week! It was fantastic to get the team back together rehearsing at our lovely local Lantern Arts Centre and presenting our original street opera adaptation in the Colliers Wood Qube Centre and in Mitcham town centre. Thank you so much to all the wonderful businesses for letting us perform in their stores – especially Sainsburys in the Qube Centre which was a new venue for us and The White Lion of Mortimer in Mitcham for the super kind round of drinks after the show! What a treat for thirsty performers! Read more

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Introducing the Cosi Fan Tutte 2018 Cast

We are delighted to announce the singers and instrumentalists for our Cosi Fan Tutte 2018 production.

Singers

Louisa Tee

Louisa Tee – Fiordiligi

Louisa trained as an actress at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and then gained a scholarship to study singing at Trinity College of Music after which she attended the Opera Works course at the English National Opera. Louisa was nominated for best female in the Off West End awards for the role of Violetta in La Traviata at the Soho Theatre which then transferred to the Tricycle Theatre and toured to UK venues. She then went on to play The Countess, Le Nozze di Figaro which also toured the UK. Other roles include Mimi, La Boheme (Soho Theatre and UK tour) Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (Soho Theatre) Queen of the Night, Magic Flute (Hawaii Performing Arts Festival) Fiordiligi, Cosi Fan Tutte Grimeborn (Arcola Theatre) Louisa also directed Magic Flute and Orpheus in the Underworld for St Pauls Opera recently and has worked in the chorus of Opera Holland Park and Raymond Gubbay. Read more

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Excited about singing in the supermarket? We ask our Cosi cast….

Cosi Fan Tutte Rehearsal

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”

Claire Wild (Fiordiligi): “One of my favourite operas is Don Giovanni actually, Mozart. But I love La Bohème as well.” Read more

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Cosi Fan Tutte Cast Announced

We are delighted to announce our cast for the 2017 promenade performance of Cosi Fan Tutte:

The Cast

Claire Wild

Claire Wild – Fiordiligi

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. Read more

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Which Cosi character would you most like to go on a date with?

Did you miss out on seeing the R&D preview of our Cosi Fan Tutte Street Opera a couple of weeks ago? Well, do not fear, we asked our team a few quick questions so you could get to know them…

Which Cosi character would you most like to go on a date with?

Nick Morris (Guglielmo): Dorabella; she’d force me to try harder

Lisa Howarth (Fiordiligi): Ferrando, without a doubt. Obviously, I’m biased, but who could resist the tenor line in the tender, beautiful, amazing duet that sparks off ‘per pieta’? (Fiordiligi’s aria)

Simon Gfeller (Ferrando): Despina. She seems fun, intelligent, cunning and down to earth! We’d get along I think!

Olivia Jarvis (Violin): I couldn’t date any of them – they all have severe relationship issues…. Read more

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“I’d date Guglielmo if he was filled with marshmallows…”

Wow, running opera workshops for young people can be such fun – and so rewarding! We’ve just run a series of workshops at Merton primary, secondary schools and the fantastic Jigsaw4u as part of our Cosi Fan Tutte Street Opera project, funded by Wimbledon Foundation and it’s really been fantastic. Many of these children would not otherwise have an opportunity to access this art form, and some may not have previously known what opera was, but after a session with us they were confidently singing a Mozart love duet and giving us their best confident cocky Guglielmos and flirty coy Dorabellas!

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