What is Grimeborn?

The Arcola (Dalston)

Grimeborn is the annual opera festival at one of London’s coolest theatres, The Arcola. Over the last ten years, the festival has become the home for adventurous takes on familiar classics, resurrections of forgotten gems, and premieres of brand new works. This year there are no less than 16 productions. There are £12 tickets available for each one. It’s cheap, it’s accessible – and it’s mindblowing when you realise how much there is to the opera world. 

Don’t take our word for it. Here are some examples that we can’t wait for:

Bringing back unknown operas to life – like Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha

Somehow Scott Joplin, the ‘King of Ragtime’, is only known for his famous piano tune The Entertainer. But then you hear about an American opera-musical like this, entirely ahead of its time, entirely relevant still – and with a title like Treemonisha… well, you just kinda have to go!

See also Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems by Emily Dickinson.

Radical takes on opera classics – like Die Fledermaus

Our very own artistic director Jo Turner and composer Leo Geyer return with a new take of Strauss’ classic. Working with designer Marina Hadjilouca and lighting designer Jack Weir, Baseless Fabric will bring our street opera indoors for two performances only, for an entirely new take on our style of relevant, irreverent opera re-imagining. Find out more here. Read more

2018, what a year…

What a year 2018 was for Baseless Fabric! We began the year with the thrilling news that we were the first recipient of the Wimbledon Foundation’s prestigious new Arts and Community Engagement Fund for our new street opera project Die Fledermaus!

This project, with the additional support of Arts Council England, Merton Council and the Samuel Gardner Memorial Trust, encompasses the creative adaptation of an opera for the high street, the free professional performances, workshops for both schools and elderly lunch clubs and two school parallel productions! So while the project has similarities to our previous street operas Drifting Dragons and Cosi Fan Tutte, it is also bigger and better than ever! Read more

Fancy a sneak peek of our new street opera?

 

This event is in the past. Check out our upcoming productions page for what’s coming up!

The Production

Die Fledermaus is a hugely fun, often silly story with some brilliant characters and very catchy tunes. Die Fledermaus means ‘The Bat’ but in our modern version Bat Man may play a role instead! Funded by the Wimbledon Foundation’s new Arts and Community Engagement Fund (ACE), Arts Council EnglandMerton Council and the Samuel Gardner Memorial Trust, our Die Fledermaus production follows on from the success of our two previous Merton Street Operas Drifting Dragons and Cosi Fan Tutte. Like these previous productions, Die Fledermaus has been cut to approximately an hour, with a new modern English accessible libretto, and with the music re-written for 3 instruments suitable for promenade performance. The final production will take place in summer 2019 with scenes popping up along the high street and with the audience free to follow our characters down the street or just watch one scene. The music has some waltzes this time round so hope you’ll be waltzing down the high street with us!

The Free Sharing

On the 29th November at Wimbledon Theatre Studio we will be presenting a few scenes from our new adaptation, discussing our work and asking for your feedback (duration approximately an hour). If you would like to join us please click to book your ticket now. Tickets are FREE but limited so please register.

 

Announcing the Cast of Die Fledermaus

We are pleased to announce the cast of Die Fledermaus!

Claire Wild

Claire Wild

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. Read more

Re-imagining opera for the high street: the libretto

After the success of last year’s Cosi Fan Tutte and with the amazing opportunity afforded by Wimbledon Foundation’s Arts & Community Engagement Fund, we were excited to get to work on the tricky but satisfying process of adapting another opera for performances along the high street to reach audiences who might never go to see an opera in a traditional opera house / theatre venue.

As we’d had such positive audience responses to our adaptation of Cosi, we decided to have the same team re-writing Die Fledermaus – myself, Artistic Director Joanna Turner, re-writing the libretto (the words the characters sing) and Leo Geyer re-writing the music (changing what’s written for a full orchestra to 3 instruments, changes to vocal lines and of course making sure our massive cuts work musically). Together Leo and I also cut the opera down to about an hour and adapt it to make sense for the modern high street. Read more

“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

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

Announcing Cosi Fan Tutte 2018!

Cast & Crew from Cosi Fan Tutte (2017) at The Off Westend Awards

We are extremely excited to announce that our OffWestEnd Finalist Best Opera Production of Cosi Fan Tutte is returning in June 2018 for a very limited number of performances!!

Since our new Die Fledermaus project takes place over 2018 and 2019, with the full production performances taking place in summer 2019, we wanted to ensure our audiences could have another opportunity to experience our 5 Star Cosi Fan Tutte this summer. Read more