Our favourite thing about our street opera performances is seeing how audiences respond. We love that the unique Baseless Fabric style – where operas pop up unexpectedly on the high street, and move from location to location – excites audiences. It’s so thrilling to clearly see people enjoying the performance which you wouldn’t be able to see from the stage of a big opera house.
And when we announced our Die Fledermaus locations, we were delighted to find people reminiscing about our performances of Cosi Fan Tutte in 2017 & 2018. For example:
If it’s anything like their Cosi – which I saw in a pub, cafés, Waitrose & outside Raynes Park station – it’ll be fabulous! https://t.co/t40qqxRiNA
— Caroline Potter 🇪🇺 (@carolinefrmus) July 9, 2019
— Marion Friend (@MFr5854769) July 9, 2019
Which raises the question, what is it about this style of opera that people love? We asked Veronique, who’s been to see many of our performances over the years, what it is that keeps her coming back & inviting her friends along:
It is so exciting to watch an opera come to life in the open air in front of people for whom it may be a totally new form of music making. It is like following the Pied Piper when the group progress from one venue to another. Children are captivated and want to follow and find out what happens. The stories are sung in a more understandable and modern way and the singers and musicians are of a very high standard. Their enthusiasm is tangible and the whole event is very well managed and directed. It is a very special experience to hear beautiful singing and music in the street and the most everyday places like supermarkets and cafes.
It’s one of the hallmarks of fringe opera, that audiences can get close to it in a way they can’t in the opera houses. It’s about being able to be so close to the singers that you can physically feel their voice and about hearing every word like you’re eavesdropping on a conversation. It’s why we’re proud to be doing opera on this small scale. It’s never about trying to copy the way things work at a huge opera house, but about finding the things that actually work better on a small scale. For us, our specific street opera performances are not only about enabling everyone to experience opera, but also enabling everyone to enjoy watching not only the performance but also other people’s reactions. Our audiences have a huge variety of previous experience of opera and we, and other audience members, enjoy seeing people so engaged – especially people who may have never seen anything like it before or as Veronique says, children who are captivated.
It’s about creating a joyous community event telling a human story through incredible music.
Check out the Die Fledermaus Street Opera page or if you want to make sure you catch the whole version and without any background street noise be sure to see us at Grimeborn: