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I’ve set a timer for 60 seconds to write down everything i can think of about the orchestra’s trip to Warsaw now that we are almost half way through (this may be a test of how fast I can type!). Ready, steady, go:

Nice to have some good weather – makes a bit of a change from Edinburgh
Hotel is AMAZING – 5 stars
Enjoyed my swim in the pool this morning (had it all to myself)
Don’t jay-wallk in Poland!
Polish people are so weloming
… but boy do they seem to like those little rat dogs.
Concert venue is amazing – audience and orchestra are all on stage in the Opera House.

Ok, so that was 1 minute 13 seconds and a whole load of typos that I had to go back and change (although not as many as I originally thought as the spell checker seems to be in Polish!).

More when we are back, first concert with Vladimir Jurowski is tomorrow night!

Photos are: of the venue – acutally on the stage of the Opera House, with the safety curtain down sectioning off the auditorium; The Old Town Square; some loos that said ‘Toi toi’ on them!!! (Ed – traditionally you say ‘toi toi’ to someone to wish them good luck as they go on stage) ; the front of Polish National Opera

Megan Russell, Projects Manager

While on tour in Holland earlier this year we set OAE Projects Manager Megan Russell a challenge. She’d taken our little camera with her to take footage – but could she somehow find a complete A-Z of things in the tour?

Here’s the result, and we have to admit that its one of our favourite videos. Particular highlights include E for Enclosing Dyke and B for ‘is it Broken?’…

Enjoy!

landslide

The cause of our all our transport problems...

On Monday, players and management got caught up in the chaos of the landslide at East Croydon station. Here’s how we got (most of!) them to the performance on time, with a few stand-ins in unusual places…

[Curtain up was supposed to be at 5.15…]

How Megan (Projects Manager, standing in for Philippa, the Orchestra Manager) got to Glyndebourne:

Departure: 11.55 from Vauxhall (She was hoping to have a swim before the show!|)

Train Vauxhall – Clapham Junction

Train Clapham Junction – East Croydon

Oh dear, about 1000 people waiting for rail replacement bus services to Gatwick Airport outside the station and no taxis to be found…

Walk to West Croydon

Train West Croydon – Sutton

Train Sutton – Dorking (made the train by about 1 minute)

[Briefly met her Mum to pick up some bits for tour the following day!]

Train Dorking Deepdene – Redhill

Train Redhill – Gatwick Airport

It’s now about 3.30…

Train Gatwick Airport – Brighton (Stopping at EVERY station en route)

Train Brighton – Lewes

Taxi to Glyndebourne

Arrival: 4.45 Read the rest of this entry »

Sorry, we haven’t put one of these up for a while, but the OAE have been just too darned busy!

This week, we speak to Projects Manager, Megan Russell:

Megan RussellWhat’s your role in the OAE office? Not sure if I can answer this one ‘quickly’! My job covers so many different areas – booking flights, accommodation and sorting touring logistics, fixing players, booking rehearsal venues, managing rehearsals, managing concerts, touring, doing airport check-ins, running the OAE Experience scheme for young players, organising auditions, unjamming the photocopier as I sit right next to it!

What does your typical day involve?

I don’t think there is such a thing as a typical day in the projects team. Normally I’ll get to work first thing and look over my emails, if I’m in the office, I’ll spend the rest of the day working on either last minute preparations for a current project, or forward planning future projects. Sometimes I am out and about at meetings, or managing rehearsals which are all over London and take place at all hours of the day.

Which mobile number do you call the most?

Sadly, I think last time I checked, it was someone in the office! Probably Philippa, our Orchestra Manager as she is out and about so much.

What – or where – is perfection?

I’ve thought about this one for a while and I really don’t know what the answer is. Read the rest of this entry »

Free your playing posterA couple of fairly random things sent in by our Projects Manager Megan Russell. First up, a poster advertising a session called ‘free your playing’ which OAE Horn player Martin Lawrence has been running at Glyndebourne – probably best described as sort-of Yoga, the class aims to improve players physical well-being, posture etc.

Enjoying tea from Fine Bone China

Helen Kruger with cellist Sebastian Comberti

Second up is some fine china – of course! It was bought by violinist Helen Kruger at the market in Kings Lynn when we did our family concert at the Corn Exchange there a few weeks back. It was a Tuesday, and in fact the address of the Corn Exchange is actually ‘Tuesday Market Place’! Helen didn’t want to take them home on the train so instead gave them to a colleague who was driving – Helen and tea set were reunited down in Glyndebourne and it made for an especially posh cup of tea in the players ‘Courtyard Cafe’!

OAE Projects Manager Megan Russell is a keen photographer and took some great pictures from the Luxembourg and Paris legs of the tour – here are a selection:

At lunchtime today my colleague Megan produced 10 metres of hand-made bunting from her bag (as you do). We were all pretty impressed with it and immediately started to put it up in the office. While we were doing this my colleague Zen starting filming and taking pictures – I remarked that it would be great to get some pictures for the blog as ‘there’s nothing else interesting going on today to put on there’. At this point Megan remarked to me that in fact there was a 50 piece orchestra rehearsing two floors below us and that was maybe quite interesting.

Of course she’s right.  Its amazing how quickly something like that becomes routine and ordinary, and you have to be reminded how special it is. After lunch I took the escalator down to level -2 here at Kings Place to listen to the Orchestra, conductor Roy Goodman and pianist Artur Pizzaro rehearse Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto. Lovely as Megan’s bunting is, listening to the OAE play Beethoven is always going to trump most things. Here are pics of both bunting and rehearsal.

William Norris, Communications Director


Our Projects Manager, Megan, just wanted to share her inbox with you. This is what happens when you’re organising 3 overseas tours simultaneously. Each email here represents an individual itinerary for one of the tours. Megan is in remarkably good spirits considering…

Leading up to the OAE’s forthcoming concert French Connections at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 9th November, we decided to play a piece from the programme to OAE office staff and film their reactions.  These are the responses from listening to Cherubini’s Overture Medée: 

Watch the Cherubini youtube clip we played them below and let us know your comments!

More info and tickets to French Connections concert on 9th November 2010 at QEH:  http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/find/music/classical/tickets/orchestra-of-the-age-of-enlightenment-50651

Yesterday morning was the culmination of what seems like months if not years of work for our concert on Saturday night. A little more Rehearsal for REMIXcomplicated than usual, this concert is a mixture of OAE and London Sinfonietta players (our very distant relations who we share an office with). As part of having our headquarters at Kings Place, we put on several concerts here throughout the year and this week is our REMIX festival, mixing all sorts of old and new including mixing up the two orchestras. This all started many moons ago when we decided to have an orchestra made up of players from both orchestras. After working out how to split the booking between the two orchestras, we then had to find OAE players who were happy to dust off their modern instruments to play some 20th century music – Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and a new commission by Richard Causton. Fixing a project with just one orchestra involved presents enough challenges, but dealing with two orchestras whose playing spheres never overlap presented quite a few more! Eventually we managed a final orchestra list, a final seating plan, the right music (we were helpfully sent the whole of the Pulcinella ballet parts instead of just the suite to start with!) and a rehearsal plan.

Sitting and listening to the rehearsal yesterday, it was really interesting to see a rare sight, OAE and LS players sitting side by side, and even stranger to see OAE players playing modern instruments. The rarest thing, however, was when the conductor, Nick Collon, announced that Richard Causton would be coming to the afternoon rehearsal – it’s not very often that the composer of the music OAE is playing turns up to a rehearsal!

Megan Russell, Projects Manager

Find out more about REMIX by downloding the brochure here.



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