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
We are delighted to announce the cast of Carmen:
Felicity Buckland – Carmen (Arcola Theatre)
Felicity trained at the RNCM and on English National Opera’s Opera Works programme.
Recent solo appearances include Kasturbai, Glass Satyagraha for ENO, Wellgunde Wagner The Rhinegold for Birmingham Opera and Nicklausse, Offenbach The Tales of Hoffmann for Kentish Opera. Previous ENO highlights include cover roles in The Valkyrie, The Mask of Orpheus (Birtwistle), Orpheus in the Underworld, Carmen, and Olivier-Award winning Porgy and Bess. Elsewhere she has sung the title roles in Carmen (Kentish Opera) and La Cenerentola (High Time Opera); Rosina The Barber of Seville (Opera South) Rossweisse Die Walküre (Grange Park Opera); Olga Eugene Onegin (Opera Up Close, Opera South East, Mid Wales Opera (cover)); Dorabella Così Fan Tutte (Baseless Fabric Theatre); Cherubino The Marriage of Figaro, and 3rd Lady The Magic Flute (both Opera Up Close). She is a regular extra chorister for The Royal Opera House, ENO and Opera North.
Felicity is in demand for solo oratorio, music education projects and consort/session work, and is delighted to be a regular part of Baseless Fabric’s Learning and Participation Projects. Read more
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.
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!
This week our Artistic Director Joanna Turner & General Manager Leo Mercer headed to the Wimbledon Championships and Jo chatted to the Wimbledon Channel & everyone on Henman Hill about our exciting Die Fledermaus project supported by the Wimbledon Foundation’s Arts & Community Engagement Fund. Read more
Recently we took our Die Fledermaus adaptation into local community centres so that elderly lunch club groups can hear a professional opera singer and pianist perform live and chat to them about what it’s like to work as a professional musician.
We asked our session leaders to tell us what their favourite moment was: Read more
So after the excitement of our young people’s workshops and our two school parallel productions for Die Fledermaus getting underway, we’re now pleased to tell you about our sessions for local elderly groups across Merton and Wandsworth!
Because our unique street opera concept means that audience members need to be able to stand for most of the performances and walk around to follow the story of our characters around the high street, it means it’s not suitable for those less physically able. So this means that we also go into local elderly organisations and run sessions for them so that they can also engage with our work.
We’re thrilled that shortly we’ll be running sessions at old friends including Merton & Morden Guild and Friends in St Helier, who we previously worked with for Drifting Dragons and A Secret Life as well as going to new organisations including the Alzheimer’s Society.
Our brilliant singers Claire Wild, Abigail Kelly and David Horton will sing a couple of arias for the groups accompanied on piano by Juliane Gallant and Giles Kennedy, talk to them about their work as professional opera singers and pianists while Astrid will talk about the company and show edited filming of the Die Fledermaus Research & Development and our previous Cosi Fan Tutte Street Opera.
We’ll be back in touch soon to let you know how the sessions go and our plans to run further sessions later on in the year! Read more
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 pleased to announce the cast of Die Fledermaus!
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