Blind Date (2007)

 

Blind Date premiered in 2007 and consisted of six short pieces composed and written by 6 seperate “couples” who met at various events organised by Tte ˆ Tte. To read an article about one of these please click here.

Below is a list, in order of performance, of the six pieces.

 

Anger

Words: Meredith Oakes Music: Julian Grant

Soprano: Stephanie Corley

Critic 1: Susan Atherton

Critic 2: Damian Thantrey

 

Two opera critics eulogise about the beautiful performance of a diva. However their agreement is short lived and their disagreement destroys the performance….

Anger was originally presented as part of The Seven Deadly Sins, a private performance of 7 short operas given in 1993 as a leaving present for the retiring English National Opera management (Peter Jonas, Mark Elder, David Pountney, Edmund Tracey). Engineered by Henrietta Bredin, and directed by Bill Bankes-Jones this involved all kinds of skullduggery and secret rehearsals with the ENO stars of the time. Anger has never before had a public performance.

 

On Such a Day

 

Words: Philip Ridley Music: Anna Meredith

It is a beautiful day…

It is not…

It is…

 

on such a day tells the story of a day as it unfolds though the eyes of our performers. Initially the beauty of the day is admired, however as events, as yet unknown, unfold we witness the reactions of those present and follow them through the storm to the calm that follows.

 

The Feathered Friend

 

Words: Alasdair Middleton Music: Helen Chadwick

Polly: Stephanie Corley

Suzy: Susan Atherton

Harry: Damian Thantrey

 

Based on a true story that occurred in Leeds last year, The Feathered Friend exposes a Love Triangle between a man, a woman and a parrot. Whilst Harry has been away, his girlfriend has been seeing someone else, although Harry is blissfully unaware until his parrot opens its mouth.

 

The Big But

 

Words: Jonzi-D Music: Jason Yarde

Suz-O: Susan Atherton

Nigel Ian St Thomas: Damian Thantrey

Linda Moran: Stephanie Corley

 

 

 

The Big But is a humorous look at the devious world of celebrity PR. In a world where the term celebrity has becoming increasingly meaningless and the paparazzi and press chase the latest and greatest misdemeanours perpetrated by people in the public eye, The Big But follows the story of George Michael’s secret love child.

 

Potentially the scoop of the century we watch as the vultures descend on their prey…

 

Houses

 

Words: Christopher Mayo & Christopher Crebolder Music: Christopher Mayo

 

Houses traces the story of three homes in Toronto from their construction, years ago, to the present day. Unearthing the lives lived, the stories trapped within the bricks and interweaving fragments of past, present and future, Houses is based facts dug out of the Canadian archives by Christopher Mayo and subsequently pieced together.

 

Nyanyushka

 

Words: Simon Nicholson Music: Gary Carpenter

Kirov: Damian Thantrey

Olga Tomsk: Stephanie Corley

Maria Popinova: Susan Atherton

 

 

Nyanyushka tells the story of a man, left to fend for himself in post revolution Russia, who yearns for the care of his Nyanushka once again.

 

Simon Nicholson writes:

 

Š—“I’d read about the peasant nannies of Tsarist Russia some time ago. Adored by the noble children they suckled and reared, they were nonetheless servants: penniless, illiterate women who usually lived out their entire lives on the estate on which they were born. When Gary approached me about the project, I remembered this material, and for some reason found myself wondering what might have happened to these women after the 1917 revolution. I thought up a story. It had the somewhat grotesque tone of some early Soviet writers (Mayakovsky, Bulgakov, Erdman) and that provided a good clue for how to write the libretto. Although it proved impossible to resist references to a certain 1960’s musical film as well…Š—

 

Gary Carpenter writes:

 

“My references arrived with Simon’s libretto. Set at a time when the influence of Diaghilev’s coterie of disaffected Russian emigrŽs was still felt everywhere except Russia, I tinkered around the edges of Mussorgsky and early Stravinsky. In the spirit of the piece, I confess to one quotation.”

 

Orchestra:

 

CHROMA

Violin – Helena Wood

Cello – Miriam Lowbury

Flute – Sarah O’Flynn

Clarinet – Stuart King

French Horn – Evgeny Chebykin

Trombone – Neill Hadden

 

Music Director – Tim Murray

Director – Bill Bankes-Jones

Designer – Tim Meacock

Lighting – Mark Doubleday

 

To read an article on our speed dating event by Henrietta Bredin in The Spectator CLICK HERE.

 

Performances took place in 2007 as follows:

 

November 12, 13, 15, 16, 18 (LONDON – Riverside Studios);

20 (BIRMINGHAM – Alexandra Theatre); 21 (NEWBURY – Corn Exchange);

23, 24 (CAMBRIDGE – Arts Theatre);

26, 27 (MANCHESTER – Royal Northern College of Music);

29, 30 (BATH – The Egg at Theatre Royal)

 

“a hilarious tour de force…Monty Python’s imperishable ‘parrot sketch’ now has a potentially immortal operatic rival”

The Observer

 

“It is perfectly articulated and sizzles with invention”

The Guardian

 

“the evening is a feather in the cap of artistic director Bill Bankes-Jones”

The Stage

 

Read the independent evaluation of Blind Date

 

Anger

 

Words: Meredith Oakes Music: Julian Grant

Soprano: Stephanie Corley

Critic 1: Susan Atherton

Critic 2: Damian Thantrey

 

On Such a Day

Words: Philip Ridley Music: Anna Meredith

 

The Feathered Friend

Words: Alasdair Middleton Music: Helen Chadwick

Polly: Stephanie Corley

Suzy: Susan Atherton

Harry: Damian Thantrey

 

The Big But

Words: Jonzi-D Music: Jason Yarde

Suz-O: Susan Atherton

Nigel Ian St Thomas: Damian Thantrey

Linda Moran: Stephanie Corley

 

Houses

Words: Christopher Mayo & Christopher Crebolder

Music: Christopher Mayo

 

Nyanyushka

Words: Simon Nicholson Music: Gary Carpenter

Kirov: Damian Thantrey

Olga Tomsk: Stephanie Corley

Maria Popinova: Susan Atherton

 

Orchestra:
CHROMA

Violin – Helena Wood

Cello – Miriam Lowbury

Flute – Sarah O’Flynn

Clarinet – Stuart King

French Horn – Evgeny Chebykin

Trombone – Neill Hadden

 

Music Director – Tim Murray

Director – Bill Bankes-Jones

Designer – Tim Meacock

Lighting – Mark Doubleday