• A couple of videos

    My thanx to Toby who filmed the final performance of Roundabout. I'll put a couple of scenes up here for a couple of weeks so that you can relive those moments - enjoy...........

  • Thank you

    A huge thank you to everybody that took part in Roundabout - it was a nutty but fun show. Thank you to Chrissie for having the idea, to all the local ensembles that worked on the music for months, to the Scratch Band that learnt it prontissimo, to the singers - Adam, John, Paddy, Rebecca and especially Christina who stood in at the last moment, the dancers, the Brodowski Quartet, Ed, Alice, Stephen for covering everybody's notes, the front of house team, the back stage crew - and the audience too [hope I haven't missed anybody out]. I hope you enjoyed taking part and came away with some new friends and some fun memories.Here's to next time.

    "That was a tour de force! Stirring brass band melodies and accompaniments to Indian dancing all under one cover! A great thing to do for the community. And wasn't it fun to have the promenading and use all the Anvil space? And where did you find all those gorgeous voices? Is there a computer programme which can work out how many notes you actually wrote?" - Judith

    "An extraordinary community opera that really redefines opera in modern times, as well as creating a piece that is impossible to put in a single box [or in the Anvil itself, so the audience went out of the building to experience it]." - Pande

    "Roundabout Basingstoke was a wonderful opportunity for the Band to take part in a local and ambitious project, bringing together various groups from all four corners of the town. Of course, it was also great to be performing at the Anvil again too!" Tim Fennell on behalf of "us at Basingstoke Concert Band"

    "Full of admiration for the huge assembly of Basingstoke creativity and production of uniting saga. A great device, the asides and cajoling of the commentator/jester/purveyor of Big Issues. Your soloists did splendidly as did the conductor, and the lasses were beautiful to watch, dancing against your Brittenesque harmonies. Best moment for me the tender duet for Macheath and Polly in the "foyer" scene." - Ros

    "Congratulations on' Roundabout Basingstoke'' - it really worked brilliantly ! Some wonderful writing throughout - loved Polly's beautiful soaring voice, the Big Issue seller, the marvellous Greenham protesters episode, the writing for Strings...and brass ...actually so much in there I think I need to hear it again - we enjoyed the whole experience very much !" - Gill

    "It was great [and a lot of fun] working with you and the team" - Vanessa and the Brodowski Quartet

    "Roundabout.........bonkers..........I like bonkers! - Carl

    "I so enjoyed Roundabout Basingstoke. Thank you and congratulations. I feel privileged to have been part of it and was glad to be with you. I do hope it is - or will be, recorded - I want to hear it again." - Bill

    "Well done again for Roundabout, I thought it was a brilliant opera - the performance concept [quite postmodern with the prologue and moving audience], the mixture of history and contemporary culture, and of course the music - quite mad but very beautiful!" - Susie

    "a fresh approach to music" - I-An

  • Lift off..................





    Scene 1:

    Scene 1Scene 1Scene 1

    Scene 2:

    Scene 2Scene 2Scene 2Scene 2

    Between scenes:

    Between scenes

    Scene 3:

    Scene 3Scene 3Scene 3Scene 3

    Scene 3a:

    Scene 3aScene 3aScene 3a

    Scene 4:

    Scene 4Scene 4Scene 4

    Scene 5:

    Scene 5Scene 5Scene 5

  • Countdown................1 [dress rehearsal]

    There is now such a sense of anticipation - of expectancy, everybody is working really hard to put on this 'nutty but fun' [Ed's words] piece. Last night I was an audience member as the Anvil Front of House team practised ushering us round the various performance spaces. I got so taken in by the spectacle that I forgot to take photos of anything but the initial scenes [ooops]. It was great to see the singers in costume as well as the dance for Scene 3a [why 3a - good question?]. Really looking forward to it..........

    Dress rehearsal (6)Dress rehearsal (11)Dress rehearsal (5)Dress rehearsal (10)Dress rehearsal (7)Dress rehearsal (3)

  • More rehearsals photos.............

    John L



    Scene 3 (5)Scene 3 (4)


  • Countdown................2

    Here's a few pictures of Sunday's rehearsal. Outside the Anvil:

    Sunday 16th rehearsal (3)Sunday 16th rehearsal (4)Sunday 16th rehearsal (6)

    In the bar areas:

    Sunday 16th rehearsal (9)Sunday 16th rehearsal (10)Sunday 16th rehearsal (12)Sunday 16th rehearsal (17)

    And in the main hall:

    Sunday 16th rehearsal (15)Sunday 16th rehearsal (16)

  • Countdown................4..............3.............

    Rehearsals are now in full swing as we approach the run up to the performances. Unfortunately Sue Moore is indisposed and has been replaced at very, very short notice by Christina Haldane. All concerned with the production are greatly indebted to Christina who has flung herself into rehearsals - taking the role of Polly, with great vigour, enthusiasm and musicality, and there is no doubt that she will give fantastic performances. Thank you Christina.


    On Tuesday 11th May, everybody taking part met for the first time on the Anvil stage for a sitzprobe - a musical run without any action. It was a little scary to see so many people - all of whom had been practicing and rehearsing this thing I'd created. Whilst I'd been round all the adult ensembles and heard their music, it was great for me to hear the singers and the Brodowski Quartet, as well as members of the Scratch Band - friends, family, ex students, current students, who had replaced one of the local ensembles.

    Anvil sitz 11.05 (6)Anvil sitz 11.05 (3)Anvil sitz 11.05 (1)

    On Wednesday 12th May, director Ed Simpson was on the Anne Diamond show talking about demystifying opera, whilst on Friday 14th the musicians involved in Scenes 2,3 & 4 all met at the Vyne School to practice these tricky little scenes. Great progress was made.

    Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (17)Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (16)Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (14)Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (12)Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (7)Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (6)Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (4)Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (1)Vyne rehearsal 14.05 (10)

  • Countdown................5

    And what lovely weather we've been having here...................but crumbs - gastric flu finished the Read family off at the end of the Easter holiday, and then BANG it was into a mad week at college as we build towards coursework deadlines.

    As if that wasn't enough, rehearsals of the singers, ensembles, MD & director also started in earnest for Roundabout - with Alice & Ed doing their stuff. This lead to to a number of rewrites - to make parts a little easier, a couple of cuts and notating some extra support in one or two places.

    Publicity is now out and looks good................................


  • ...and carry on!

    It was great to hear the Innovations Jazz Orchestra tonight. They have really got into Scene 3 and play with great vigour and a developing sense of beauty - the players are really starting to get inside the music [there's even tapping of feet]! Just one or two little corners to smooth out, otherwise excellent - many congrats for all the work that the various members have put in.

    IJO - March (5)IJO - March (4)
    IJO - March (3)IJO - March (2)

  • Rehearsals begin.......

    Even though I have finished writing Roundabout, it has been quite a hectic couple of weeks. I have started work in earnest on the Sea Woman - a creative project for 2010's Winchester Festival, in which young musicians devise their own music, dance and drama - based on an old Scottish folk tale. As such I have been into Kings School, Swanmore & Westgate for a chat with the Heads of Music, whilst I have already been in a couple of times to Henry Beaufort working with a group of year 10s - creating music about the sea on a Balinese Gamelan.

    With regards to Roundabout, publicity has just started appearing in the Anvil Arts brochure and on their website. At the start of this week the Innovations Jazz Orchestra started rehearsing and I received a very encouraging email from Simon - their director: "Just wanted to let you know that the rehearsal went much better than I expected and we have been through the whole piece. Nothing of any concerns, just getting people to be confident with their individual entries. Certainly sounds different hearing it with real instruments as opposed to the Midi version :-)" - can't wait until hear them on 22nd March.

    And, I have just come back from Hook where I spent 30 minutes rehearsing the Silver Band in their bits of Scene 4. I also can't wait to hear to combined rehearsal of the Concert Band & Silver Band on 26th March.
    Basingstoke Silver BandBasingstoke Silver BandBasingstoke Silver Band

    I have also attended rehearsals of the Tadley Band who make a really strident sound, which will be an excellent opening to whole performance.
    Tadley Band (3)Tadley Band (1)Tadley Band (2)


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