Our After School Opera Club are gearing up for their own final production inspired by Carmen but with their own ideas for new songs, spoken scenes and characters. They’ve worked so hard in their weekly sessions since January evolving these ideas as well as improving their acting and singing skills and we are so proud of how they’ve all developed! As part of their work they recently had a brilliant session with set designer Sorcha Corcoran and costume designer Hannah Williams where they learnt more about theatre design and shared their ideas about what their show should look like with the designers. I think every production of Carmen should have a garden party and a balloon of hate, don’t you?! Read more
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!
Since the start of term the hallways have been ringing with the Habanera at Links Primary School as our latest community project gets underway.
Each week a group of children attend an After School Opera Club run by Baseless Fabric and in partnership with Jigsaw4U. Our fantastic facilitators Bimpe Adeyemi and Ruth Routledge are working with the children to teach them about Bizet’s Carmen, and support them in creating and writing their own show inspired by the opera.
The children will work with Bimpe and Ruth over the next two terms singing, acting, writing and devising together. Their work will culminate in a performance in July for family, friends, teachers and for the team of performers and creatives working on Baseless Fabric’s professional production of Carmen.
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….
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
We are super excited to introduce our talented music and drama workshop leaders who will be working with the young people’s groups in our Die Fledermaus parallel productions at Cranmer Primary School and St John Bosco College….
Elliott Anthony Ajai-Ajagbe Daley has 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. Read more
We are thrilled to announce a new and exciting aspect of the Die Fledermaus project!
As well as our professional cast performing our re-imagined version of Die Fledermaus in summer 2019, we will also have two groups of young people creating their own new versions of this classic opera as part of an ongoing youth opera project! The two groups, one primary and one secondary, will meet up fortnightly January – July 2019 with our professional music and drama practitioners to learn to sing and act out songs and scenes from the opera as well as writing new scenes, songs and perhaps even new characters to create their very own brand new show inspired by the opera. The fortnightly sessions will then lead to a week’s rehearsal and performance in the summer holidays so that the groups can show their ‘parallel productions’ to parents, teachers and the professional cast! Following which the groups will come to see our professional production to experience seeing a professional opera and hearing professional opera singers live and up close – and to be able to compare the professional version to their own! Read more
We are beyond thrilled to announce that we have been awarded funding by the Wimbledon Foundation’s new Arts and Community Engagement Fund (ACE) to create our next Merton Street Opera!
Following on from the success of Drifting Dragons (2016) and Cosi Fan Tutte (2017) we are now re-imagining Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus for free unticketed high street performances enabling everyone to experience high quality professional opera for free. Read more
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
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
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!
— Philippa Jackson (@HollymountHeadT) February 24, 2017