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More from our series of backstage pictures by Karen Robinson

At the Don Giovanni final rehearsal a few weeks ago (we’re perfoming it at Glyndebourne currently) I caught up with OAE Education Manager and Oboeist Cherry Forbes about her role in the opera:

Sorry about any background noise which is the OAE office team enjoying a picnic!

William Norris, Marketing Director

As promised, here are a selection of pictures of Wilton’s Music Hall, where we perform a Night Shift on 13 August.

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is greatly saddened to learn of the death of Sir Charles Mackerras.

Picture: Matt Wreford

Sir Charles Mackerras at the OAE's 21st Birthday Concert, June 2007

One of the OAE’s Emeritus Conductors, Sir Charles was a terrific force in the revival of Handel even before his first concert with the OAE in 1987, just a year after the Orchestra was formed. From his first concert he formed an immediate rapport with the Orchestra, becoming one of the Orchestra’s most regular conductors and being appointed Emeritus Conductor in 2007. Sir Charles also made many recordings with the OAE, starting with Schubert in 1987 and most recently Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, which was also the last work that he conducted in public earlier this summer at Glyndebourne, again with the OAE.

Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive of the OAE commented:

“It is difficult to think that such a vibrant musical personality is no longer with us.  Any concert or opera performance conducted by Sir Charles was an event that every musician in the OAE looked forward to and enjoyed.  The OAE players, board and management staff had the highest respect and love for Sir Charles and we are grateful for the many happy musical memories that he gave to us and to audiences throughout the world; memories that will thankfully live on through his extensive recorded legacy.”

The other week we were preparing a press release about our forthcoming Night Shift at Wilton’s Music Hall, and we asked OAE leader and

Matthew Truscott (pic: Joe Plommer)

director of this performance, Matthew Truscott for a quote to go on the release. We really loved his description of the venue so thought we’d share it with you here. We’ll post some pics of the venue  here tomorrow.

“Wilton’s is a wonderful and lavishly evocative venue where the walls are imbued with the sweat and cheers of generations of Londoners. It’s perfect for The Night Shift and especially for this one where we’ll be playing music written for a London audience. Handel composed his magnificent set of Concerti Grossi down the road on Brook Street and Purcell’s Fairy Queen has in it some of England’s most vivid and sensual theatre music”

As you may know the OAE is currently down in Glyndebourne, where it is playing in two Mozart operas – Cosi Fan Tutte and Don Giovanni. Don Giovanni had its first night on Sunday and is conducted by our Principal Artist and Glyndebourne’s Music Director, Vladimir Juorwski. In a recent excellent interview with The Guardian he talks about his fear of conducting the opera, yoga, The Night Shift and whether Glyndebourne still has a purpose. Read the interview here.

Ok, maybe we are pushing the ‘idol’ thing a bit far now!

We’ve been working with our designers Harrison on some designs for a postcard to promote our special Vespers performance at Kings Place this summer. They’ve come up with a number of great designs, and we can’t quite decide on one – I’ve asked around, but everyone has a different opinion in the office. So, given that the people we want to come to this are you, our audience, I thought it would be sensible to ask our blog readers their opinion, so we can add it into the mix. So, here are three design options for the flyer – let us know which one you prefer by voting below – the vote will close at 6pm tomorrow.

William Norris, Marketing Director

This Friday we’re going to be very sad to be waving goodbye to our intern Jo, who has been with us for the past year. Jo has mainly been working with the Projects team, but has also helped out with all the other departments too – helping out at String Club, helping the marketing team at Freshers Fairs and getting stuck in at fundraising events.  We’ll be reall sorry to see her go as she’s been completely brilliant. For the recent players newsletter she wrote a ’10 ten things I have learnt’, and here they are:

  1. Like every good boy scout, always be prepared – whether it’s with a schedule so you can answer players questions, or a map so you know where you’re going
  2. You will be sent all over London running errands, but your local geography and knowledge of the underground will improve greatly as a result
  3. It is always useful to be able to wrap a bottle of wine beautifully (a skill I never quite acquired)
  4. It really is far more interesting to watch the canal wildlife than it is to do your work
  5. Always take the opportunity to go to Development events hosted by supporters of the orchestra – their houses are beautiful!
  6. Never yawn when sitting at the front of an ABO meeting, you will get caught
  7. Keep some spare make up in your bag on Southbank Centre concert days, you never know if you might be needed to present flowers on stage
  8. You will never stop feeling star struck by all of the amazing people you meet, like Sir Mark Elder and Sir Charles Mackerras
  9. It hurts a lot if you drop a timpani on your shin
  10. Enjoy every second, because it will be over before you know it!

Continuing our series of pics by Karen Robinson…

So the other thing which will be keeping us busy this summer is a special extra performance of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers. This has already been on tour across the UK and Europe (see previous blog entries), and following packed out performances, we’re bringing it back for one last show, on 30 August at Kings Place. It should sound amazing in the near-perfect acoustic of Hall One. We’ll also be recording the concert, so there’s that little extra frisson of excitement too! Its a matinee performance, at 3pm, and tickets are a bargain at just £9.50.  Details and booking here.

You may wonder why having one extra concert would cause us lots of extra work (not that we mind it!). Well, first we have to consult with Rob Howarth who is directing the performance, finding out his availability, as well as finding a venue, and making sure that they have suitable dates free. Once Robs and the venues availability coincide then all the players and singers who did the tour previously have to be contacted one by one, making sure they are available, and if not, then finding a suitable replacement. While this work is happening in our Projects team I’ve been talking to Kings Place about what price tickets will be sold at, when it can go on sale etc etc. Now I’m thinking about how we promote the concert, liaising with designers to produce a flyer. Because the performance is being recorded there are all sorts of extra details surrounding that too.

People are often very surprised that 16 of us are needed to run the OAE from the office – in future posts here we’ll look at what each of the office team members does.

William Norris, Marketing Director

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July 2010

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