Back in Action for Streetwise Opera
We were back in action with Streetwise Opera this week and our first port of call was Colville House in Nottingham. A women's Complex Needs Service, that provides temporary supported accommodation for single homeless women from the Nottingham area with a variety of complex support needs. We were here to inspire these guys to join us every tuesday afternoon at the regular Streetwise Session at the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham.
Our workshop space was the kitchen come social room all twenty square metres of it, yes that big!! After moving settees, chairs and a table we setup our electric keyboard and were ready for action.
We had 7 ladies sitting patiently wondering what they had let themselves in for. After twenty minutes of some serious workshop games causing some raucous laughter and obvious enjoyment we delved into the scary area of singing and a little dancing. Everyone was having a great time and enjoying themselves more than they thought they might, i think. We were making so much progress we decided to dived straight into the Opera we had chosen, Carmen! We sang the Habanera in english and after mastering a couple of verses we decided at having a go to set a little scene. We imagined we were outside a cigarette factory in a hot sultry Spanish Village. The girls enjoyed taking their turns at being Carmen and really got into the swing of it. A big well done!!
We are really looking forward to next weeks session and are hoping some of the girls will come along.
It was also our first session back at the Concert Hall after a break of six weeks.
We had a group of eager participants who had really missed Streetwise Opera and were rearing to get back to the business of acting and singing. This term our new piece was to be The Merry Widow, an operetta by the Austro–Hungarian composer Franz Lehár.
Baron Zeta is desperate that the wealthy widow Hanna Glavari marry a Pontevedrian man so that her fortune remains in the country. He attempts to match her and his handsome attaché, Danilo. It turns out that Danilo and Hanna had had a love affair in years past. Nevertheless, Danilo now refuses to love her because he doesn't want it to look like he just loves her money. In the end, after Hanna reveals that she will loose the money if she remarries, Danilo joyously asks for her hand in marriage. Quickly, she informs him that she will loose her money – because she will give it to her new husband.
First we made up some simple moves that kind of resembled a Viennese Waltz and had everyone moving around the room to a piece from the Operetta. Then we chose our first tunes from the piece and put our own words to it. We then built our imaginary Ball Room and had all the Streetwise choose a Posh name that had to incorporate somewhere in Nottingham, the Duchess of Radford, the Viscount of Bulwell, the Princess of Nottingham Castle and so on.......
Everyone was introduced to the Ball by Neil Allen in his most posh voice and after the arrival of Hanna Glavari we launched into our new song, followed by Viennese waltz we had learned earlier. This was all performed in the upper foyer of the Theatre Royal our normal space was occupied but it did not stop us from creating our masterpiece. What will next week inspire?