National Opera Studio trainees will be performing at the Annual Lights Carol Service on Saturday 29th of December at 5pm.
Opera Scenes directed by Gilles Rico
30 October 2014, 7.30pm & 31 October 2014, 3.00pm
Burntwood School, SW17 0AQ
G. Donizetti: La Fille du Régiment – L’elisir d’amore – La Fille du Régiment
“Quoi vous m’aimez” – “Come Paride vezzoso” – “Or se m’ami” – “Tous les trois réunis”
Marie/Adina – Tereza Gevorgyan Sergeant/Belcore – Matthew Durkan
Tonio/Nemorino – Trystan Griffiths Piano – Nick Fletcher
P. I. Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin Duel Scene
Lensky – Gerard Schneider Zaretsky – Tim Dickinson
Onegin – Gyula Nagy Piano – Eda Seppar
W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni “Là ci darem” – “Ah fuggi” – “Non ti sfidar o misera”
Don Giovanni – Gyula Nagy Zerlina – Sioned Gwen Davies
Donna Elvira – Katherine Crompton Don Ottavio – Trystan Griffiths
Donna Anna – Roisín Walsh Piano – Hannah Quinn
G. Puccini: Madama Butterfly Act I Duet
Butterfly – Roisín Walsh Piano – Hannah Quinn
Pinkerton – Gerard Schneider
W. A. Mozart: Così fan tutte Act I Finale
Fiordiligi – Katherine Crompton Guglielmo – Matthew Durkan
Dorabella – Sioned Gwen Davies Don Alfonso – Tim Dickinson
Despina – Hanna-Liisa Kirchin Piano – Eda Seppar
Ferrando – Trystan Griffiths
J. Massenet: Cendrillon Act III Duet
Le Prince Charmant – Hanna-Liisa Kirchin Piano – Nick Fletcher
Cendrillon – Tereza Gevorgyan
J. Offenbach: Orphée aux enfers Act II “The Fly Duet”
Jupiter – Gyula Nagy Piano – Nick Fletcher
Eurydice – Katherine Crompton
Music Director Mark Shanahan
Italian coaching Maria Cleva, Matteo Dalle Fratte
French coaching Florence Daguerre de Hureaux
Russian coaching Lada Valesova
Stage Manager Robert Perkins
This autumn we invited Gilles Rico to the Studio to direct our autumn opera scenes. The autumn scenes give our trainees the opportunity to work as a company under the direction of talented professionals and present the work to not only a public audience but industry professionals. The production performed at Burntwood School was well received with excellent feedback from industry professionals.
Programming the scenes poses challenges for both the conductor, in this production our Head of Music Mark Shanahan and the Director. Scenes taken from a range of opera's are combined to produce one production which in this case Gilles cleverly crafted into 'Love, Apparently'.
Gilles explains the production below –
From the Ancient Greek lyric poetry, to the amour courtois of the troubadours and to modern day pop songs, grasping that unfathomable feeling called love has always been at the core of any musical and poetical endeavour. As a lyric genre blending music with theatre and poetry, opera found in the lover’s discourse an infinite pool for inspiration. Love fuels operatic passions. It gives flesh to characters, shapes narratives and constitutes a vector for musical expression. It is the throbbing heart of opera. It is never unidimensional but always multifaceted, involving a plethora of variegated feelings and emotions, which mirror the complexity of the human soul.
Bringing together short love scenes drawn from different repertoires, composers and cultural sensibilities illustrates the wide array of possible contexts that encompass the experience of the amorous subject. The rustic rhetoric of Belcore and Nemorino courting Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, the naïve love of Tonio and Marie in La Fille du Régiment, the comedic elements of the cross-dressing in the Fly Duet from Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers contrast with the gravitas of the passionate yet thwarted love of Lensky in Onegin that will ultimately lead him to his death in a duel. The utilitarian love of Pinkerton for Butterfly, seen as an exotic pastime finds a paroxysmal expression in the violent craving for multiple love and an unquenchable thirst for sensuous pleasure and freedom in Don Giovanni. The discovery that multiple love is not only possible but painful by the naïve young lovers in Così fan tutte brings about the dramatic awareness that duplicity is embedded in human nature, whereas Cendrillon depicts a pure and sudden love at first sight functioning like a hypnosis which can only be achieved in the world of fairy tales.
Envisioning those various scenes out of their original contexts does not come without any difficulty. Everything is given within a few minutes. There is no time to linger on the backstories of each character, to delve into their psyche, to explore the dramatic developments of their lives. Yet, this type of montage allows new perspectives on the works and helps construct new relationships between the characters, which bring at the forefront some of their archetypal features while providing different interpretations of their personal stories. To build a sense of continuity between those greatly contrasted scenes, I decided to locate the action in a modern day bar populated by operatic characters in the mood for love during a speed-dating event. Such a brutal practice as speed-dating, born from the growing anonymity, the impossibility to communicate and the fear of the other that characterizes life in a big city epitomizes the idea of love being a commodity won on a battlefield where time is counted. The shortness of each operatic scene finds a counterpart in the abrupt and cruel nature of such a setting where one must stand out at all costs and be able to reveal, in a moment, the depth and complexity of the human soul.
At the NOS we strive to build on the excellent work of the conservatoires by providing training of the highest quality with a programme for each artist designed to meet their needs and aspirations. We continue to push boundaries, question our own processes and are fortunate that the excellent reputation of the Studio attracts the best tutors and coaches. This term trainee's had the opportunity to work with Adele Ward in a session designed to improve their communication as performers. Adele is a Registered Sign Language Interpreter and works with performers through BSL and using a variety of methods including Meisner Technique. Having trained at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts and worked as an actor, she has combined BSL interpreting with performance and worked with some of the UK’s foremost theatre and dance companies, including Graeae and CandoCo. She was the co-founder and Producer of Inner Sanctum Productions, whose theatre work was shown at The Albany in Deptford and The Venue, Leicester Square and TV work was shown on the OutTV network in Canada.
In this first session at the Studio, Adele worked with our Head of Music Mark Shanahan to explore communication in performance and the barriers to emoting whilst singing and workshopped the tools required to achieve a powerful response from our audience. This inspiring session reflects the Studio’s dynamic approach to training.
It was a real pleasure to work with the trainees at NOS. Our aim was to help them look at communication from a different perspective, specifically using sign language to explore how it felt to use a physical method of communication rather than a vocal method. We used sign language to give a new angle on how lyrics and music have an impact on a performer's emotions. I think it's useful to try something totally new to help uncover aspects of the work that we don't always notice, and the trainees did a great job!
We are very excited to see alumni Sky Ingram in a new production, Glare at the Royal Opera House.
Glare, an operatic thriller by German/Danish composer Søren Nils Eichberg, will have its world premiere in the Linbury Studio Theatre on 14 November 2014, directed by Thaddeus Strassberger.
'I've never done a robot opera before, I've never created a robot before, I've never fallen in love with a robot before; I don't think these are things that you can immediately call upon in a method acting kind of way,' Thaddeus says of directing Glare.
The opera explores a complex web of human relationships through the story of Alex, a young man looking for love who become suspicious that his seemingly perfect girlfriend is actually a robot.
‘Glare is a very simple love story that starts on a very hopeful note of new love blossoming,’ says Thaddeus, who is making his ROH directing debut in 2014/15. ‘The drama that ensues is figuring out and testing out the limits of perfect love versus something that is completely artificial and therefore not perfect.’
‘We’re all looking for the latest and greatest thing; whether it be a new mobile phone, a new iPad or a new robot girlfriend, the new model is always just around the corner. Perfection is something that's ephemeral and elusive.’ says Thaddeus. ‘The romantic ideal of finding your one soulmate isn’t so much part of our narrative today.’
The opera's premiere will follow Thaddeus's staging of Verdi's I due Foscari on the Covent Garden main stage and is the second of two works from the director during the 2014/15 Season.
Congratulations to recent alumnus Ben McAteer (baritone, 2014) for making it through to the final of the Belvedere International Singing Competition, this year being held in the home of Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf.
Ben joins just 16 other singers out of the initial 1,321 who competed in the first round.
This summer we have expanded our short course programme welcoming new faces to the Studio and increasing the opportunity for exposure to the world of opera and opera training. We commissioned Arts Access Consultant, Adele Ward to engage the UK’s foremost Sign Language interpreter of sung music, Wendy Ebsworth to work together to design and deliver a course for BSL interpreters. The pilot of this exciting new course took place at the Studio this weekend.
This short CPD course, for Registered Sign Language Interpreters, encouraged participants to step beyond the constraints of the BSL/English continuum and find their own way to express the emotion and action of sung music.
Wendy Ebsworth led the group through two days of exploring how to deliver an interpretation of a variety of styles of song in sign language.
Day one focused on how interpreting for sung performance is not just about how we use language – how to convey the emotions, tension and humour in a show. The group discussed how Deaf theatre and performance is different from interpreted performance and looked at how the choices interpreters make can influence Deaf audience members’ experience of both opera and musical theatre. On the second day, the group were joined by singers and a pianist from The National Opera Studio to explore the process of translation and working with musicians to prepare songs for performance.
The course proved fascinating for all involved with both interpreters and singers thrilled by the experience. Thank you to all that were involved!
We are delighted to announce that Arts Council England have confirmed that we will continue to be one of their National Portfolio Organisations for the three years from April 2015. This is an expression of confidence in the crucial role that the National Opera Studio plays in the UK opera world and the excellence of the training we provide for the leading artists of the future. The Arts Council will provide funding of £168,221 in 2015/16, which will represent 29% of our total income.
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