OPERA ON TOUR

Opera Anywhere’s touring productions have entertained audiences around the country in theatres, schools, village halls, 10317722_10152603666028474_4552563221795455672_ocowsheds and even an air hangar. Some shows feature locally recruited chorus singers; others follow workshops with schoolchildren, who then join in the action. I have great fun as the MD and pianist, and along with flautist Nick Planas, percussionist Dave Hadland and cellist Rosie Burchett I enjoy the challenge of accompanying a production where anything might happen! The programme includes operettas and operas by Gilbert & Sullivan, Puccini, Mozart and Humperdinck, and several modern one-act operas, including Menotti’s The Telephone, Samuel Barber’s mini-opera A Hand of Bridge, William Walton’s The Bear, and Menotti’s The Old Maid And The Thief. For 2019 we add ‘Hansel & Gretel’ to the ever-increasing Opera Anywhere repertoire.

LUNAS DANCE

untitled-625 - Version 2Ellie Aldegheri’s company, Lunas Dance, gave a superb performance at the Old Fire Station in 2014, based on the theme of Time. I was delighted to play my piece, Time Was, Time Is, Time Will Be, along with singers Rebecca Martin, Hope McNamara and Cat Blagrove, drummer Dave Hadland, bassist Mark Hooper and flautist Nick Planas. We loved playing live for the dancers, and Nick even became an unwitting dance partner for Ellie!

14859722_669977536500409_5099358284458875637_oLunas Dance and Nick Planas were reunited in October 2016 — but this time Nick was composer and MD of a delightful children’s ballet, The Hare & The Tortoise, and Lunas were joined by an enthusiastic troupe of children. I joined a small orchestra as keyboard-player for three performances of this hour-long work, narrated by Johnny Allison, which follows the competitors through a series of misadventures involving a drunk panto donkey, a traffic policeman, a gang of rapping rats and waltzing skunks, among others …