Saturday 21st August, 19.00 & Sunday 22nd August, 16.00
Based in Manchester, Sawn-off Opera comprises artists who studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. BBC Radio 3 The Verb commissioned our first opera, We Know We Got Soul and we performed it live on the show. Funded by Arts Council England, our work has been described as fresh, humorous, exciting, lively and bizarre. We aim to produce artistic work of the highest quality that reaches a wide audience without compromising our artistic integrity.
Sawn-off Opera present three short operas set in hotel rooms by Irish Composer Ailis Ni Riain with libretto by David Gaffney. Saville Row Tailors, Body Doubles, Politicians, Fetish Shoe Dealers and crooked business men all combine in song especially for you… These 3 operas are completed but with the addition of 2/3 more will complete the full Sawn-off set. It will be a site-specific work – performed in hotel rooms – with an instrumental accompaniment of Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Cello and Vibraphone/Percussion.
About Sawn-off Opera
Sawn-off Opera is an exciting new small-scale opera company based in Manchester specialising in new mini-operas. We have performed at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, the Royal Northern College of Music, the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, BBC Studio 7 in Manchester and on The Verb on BBC Radio 3. BBC Radio 3-s The Verb commissioned our first opera, We Know We Got Soul, and we performed it live on the show. We have received funding from the BBC, Arts Council England and the Arts Council of Ireland. Our work has been described as fresh, humorous, exciting, lively and bizarre. We aim to produce artistic work of the highest quality that reaches a wide audience without compromising our artistic integrity.
Supported by Arts Council England and The Irish Arts Council.
Music: Ails N Rain
Words: David Gaffney
Director: Caroline Clegg
Soprano: Rebecca Anderson
Alto: Sian Millet
Tenor: Brian Smith Walters
Baritone: Benjamin Weaver
Piano: Jemima Palfreyman
Caroline Clegg has worked with Opera North, WNO, Buxton Festival, Companions Opera, (Arena productions of Aida, Zurich, Carmen, Germany), Mecklenburgh Opera, Opera Circus and Teatro Massimo.
Tom Newall Born in Leeds in 1986, Tom has a particular passion for opera, and was one of the original members of Durham Opera Ensemble. He now studies with Clark Rundell at the RNCM.
Ailís Ní Ríain Born in Cork. An internationally prize-winning composer (ISCM 2007), now represented by The Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland (music) and Casarotto Ramsay (plays). See www.ailis.info
David Gaffney is the author of Sawn-off Tales, Aromabingo and Never Never. He specialises in micro short stories and his new collection is published in November 2010. He lives in Manchester.
Rebecca Anderson gained a BMus (Hons) 1st Class. Has received both the Hargreaves Prize of excellence and the Proctor-Gregg Prize. She now works extensively as a soloist and consort singer for the BBC and has recently successfully auditioned for Scottish Opera Chorus.
Sian Millet Cardiff Born she is a recent graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with Barbara Robotham and took part in numerous productions, concerts and opera scenes. Throughout this time she has received many prizes and awards including the HRH Prince of Wales Advanced Studies in Music Award.
Brian Smith-Walters an American based in Manchester since 2002. Winner of Granada Prize and the Trevor Wye Prize. Has a particular interest in 20/21st Century opera and is a busy freelancer working throughout the UK.
Benjamin Weaver has, over the last year, performed with Edinburgh Studio Opera, Elemental Opera, Clonter Farm Opera and Scottish Opera. For more information please visit www.benjaminweaverbaritone.me.uk