Sir Henry Wood founded the Proms back in 1895 and what a great idea it was seeing as this year celebrates the 124th Prom, which shall include an 8-week long schedule of first-class orchestras, musicians, artists and performances yet to be announced, this week [Thursday 19th April]. Many die-hard Prommers are waiting with bated breath to know who will be performing this summer. That said, and as promised by its founder, the BBC Proms was made for everyone, and not just classical music aficionados and expert Prommers who know their way around the Royal Albert Hall’s pit.
It would be unfair to review Lipstick: A fairy tale in Modern Iran, after all, it is a scratch performance based on the experiences of Sarah Chew and her visit to Tehran during the Green Uprising in 2009. At the Omnibus Theatre, people got to see a theatrical work in its development stages. With script in hand, Laura Dos Santos read Sarah Chew’s words and reenacted a heavy and serious topic, which was up for discussion later on in the evening. Mark, bravely performed by Nathan Kiley, added cabaret and drag aesthetic to the episodic work. Together they ruled over my attention for the evening, and I was genuinely locked in and engaged.
Opera wouldn’t be influential if it wasn’t for the role of the ‘diva’ (Italian for ‘goddess’) or ‘prima donna’. Its voices, the magnificent sopranos, tender contraltos, and mellifluous mezzo-sopranos are huge driving forces that foster our love for opera.
Opera is the one of the few artistic genres that elevates the status of women. Since the time of Handel and Mozart, opera’s trouser-roles have also played an influential part. They were specifically made for women to cross-dress as men, manly fighters and despairing boy-like lovers.
To celebrate Women’s Day, I want to share my favourite women in opera from voice to characterisation.
The news just came in. Alexandra Burke and Elaine Paige hosted this year’s nominations this afternoon [March 6, 2018]. It was announced that Catherine Tate will host the 42nd annual awards on Sunday April 8 at the Royal Albert Hall. (It will be broadcasted on ITV on the evening of the Oliviers Awards from 10.20 pm.)
Looking at the long list of Olivier nominees, I’m pleased to see that a large majority of these shows are shows I’ve already seen. Some are still my to-do list. However, other shows (plays, operas, musicals, comedies) which I’ve originally put on the sideline are getting a second look now that their on the nominations list. If the Laurence Olivier judges are nominating them, it must mean something, right?
Do you like contemporary dance? How about an adaptation of a classic ballet revamped to the 21st century with a brand new score and an entirely different dance choreography? Would that be of interest to you? Then say no more. Akram Kham has provided the solution with his collaborative work with the English National Ballet’s (ENB) artistic director Tamara Rojo.
I’m reading this again and again, and I’m unsure what the fuss is all about. Having read through both Matt Trueman (read here) and Mark Shenton’s posts (read here) on ‘Stunt Casting’, I feel a deep urge to say something.
The news is that a Youtuber / famous vlogger has been cast in the play Confidence at the Southwark Playhouse. To Shenton it begs the question, ‘if anyone with a big Instagram and Twitter following can be thrown into the lead of a play, what’s the point of real actors learning and honing their craft?’ Fair enough, I can see where he’s coming from, but, now, I have to ask, is there a particular reason why the director Rob Drummer picked the vlogger to perform the lead role in the first place? Trueman notes it is to fill seats by those aged 15 to 25 who are more likely to be looking at Snapchat than checking out what’s going on in the theatre world. ‘It holds the key to theatre’s future.’
Within the last two weeks 2018 has come into full swing. There’s been so many news bulletins from the opera, theatre and the classical music world that I’ve decided to break down the theatre news into one blog post and bring you opera and classical music news tomorrow in another post. Enjoy!
(Word count: 678)
(Reading time : 2 minutes)
The number of likes and followers you make on social media may make you seem popular, but does that really mean you’re getting genuine likes and authentic followers? I had a eureka moment this morning when I managed to find a couple of unfollow apps. I learnt a few insightful things about my Twitter and Instagram followers.
I have been cultivating my Instagram (@nguyenuk11) account for a year now and have invested almost four years on my Twitter (@marygnguyen) account. As I cleaned through my ‘following’ lists, I realised that many of them:
a) don’t follow me,
b) are bots and are not managed by people,
c) hardly interact with me,
d) don’t spread content related to my interests, usually because they are spam, or
e) are redundant accounts, or were shut down by social media.
The hashtags #Metoo and #TimesUp originate from the rise of sexual allegations and harassment cases revealed within the wider theatre, film and entertainment industries since the latter part of 2018. After media outlets announced the sexual allegations claims made against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, more claims of sexual abuse, rape and harassment came out about other notable figures, including ex-artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre and actor Kevin Spacey. He was accused of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour by 20 members of the Old Vic as artistic director from 2004-2015. Actor Anthony Rapp also accused Spacey of making sexual advances towards him when he was 14 years old.
The Stage’s Special Report on Harassment in Theatre was published on January 25th. Having read it I thought I’d share some sections, quotes and statistics from The Stage’s findings. (The actual report can be found here. You need to be a subscriber to read all seven pages of it online.)