Tuesday 22 September 2020

The Rakes Progress: Blackheath Halls Opera goes online with Nicky Spence, Ashley Riches, Francesca Chiejina

Stravinsky: The Rakes Progress - Nicky Spence, Ashley Riches, Francesca Chiejina - Blackheath Halls Opera

At a time when large-scale amateur music making is hardly possible, Blackheath Halls Opera, having cancelled plans for live performances of Verdi's Macbeth, has come up with a lively way to ensure that its members are able to continue performing, a 30-minute digested version of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, directed by James Hurley and film in Blackheath Halls and in the performers' homes. 

The film debuts on-line on Saturday 3 October 2020, and features a terrific cast with Nicky Spence (the company's patron) as Tom Rakewell, Ashley Riches as Nick Shadow, Francesca Chiejina as Anne Truelove, James Way as Sellem, Kitty Whately as Baba the Turk and Carolyn Williamson as Mother Goose, with musical director Christopher Stark and featuring Blackheath Halls Orchestra, Blackheath Halls Chorus, Royal Greenwich & Blackheath Halls Youth Choir.

All orchestral and chorus music was recorded by players in their own homes, aided by recordings prepared by singers at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Blackheath Halls Opera aims to include 30% of participants who have not been involved in a production before, and chorus members often have no previous choral experience. 

The film follows the success in June of Blackheath Halls Opera's online performance of 'Tre sbirri, una carrozza' from Puccini's Tosca starring Matthew Rose.


Steravinsky's The Rakes Progress premieres on Saturday 3 October 2020 at 5.30pm on Blackheath Halls YouTube & Facebook

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