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16th Century pub

Hopefully there wont be too much of the activity that's going on bottom right...

Next month we’re trying something a little different and taking our late-night series, The Night Shift to everyone’s favourite place – the pub.

It’s an idea we’ve bandied around for a little while here in the OAE office, but recently we decided to JFDI, as we say in our strange office lingo. (Just Flipping Do It)…

The idea is simple, downsize the Night Shift and perform in a pub.  We love the idea of it being a super-intimate event with the audience being really close to performers, and being in a pub, standing, with a pint in hand, should work well with the whole Night Shift informality thing. Plus our Night Shift audience is always telling us they want more regular events – so this is a handy way of having events in between the main shows. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s the latest in our series of pre-concert talks which we’re making available as podcasts. In this talk from our Baroque. Contrasted. Festival, Tom Irvine, a music historian from the University of Southampton, talks about Bach’s Double Violin Concerto and Purcell’s Fairy Queen.

Now you get to hear from a player rather than just office bods! In this latest vid OAE leader Matthew Truscott talks about the concert he has devised and is directing at Kings Place on 9 April, – a programme which features Purcell, Bach and Handel, including how the concert fits into the Baroque. Contrasted. theme of the festival.

Next up, another round of Baroque trivia.

zen photoMy first exposure to the OAE was at the last Nightshift at Wilton’s Music Hall, and it was a totally awesome introduction to the orchestra!  I was set the exciting task of capturing footage from the performance and recording vox pops of members of the audience and orchestra and editing it down to a short video clip.  Extra exciting for me in that I had recently become a big Purcell fan, but I was a little worried that I would become too absorbed by the performance and not be able to concentrate on the filming!

The show was indeed great, (although I kinda wish I could go back in time and enjoy it again without the camera..) with a very relaxed atmosphere but I found it amazing that even though the audience was given free reign to talk, make noise and come in and out at will, everyone seemed to be completely entranced by the performance and stayed very quiet throughout.  In fact at one point a member of the audience angrily and very loudly shouted ‘Shut up!’ to someone who was chatting – unfortunately,  leader of the orchestra Matthew Truscott who was talking on stage at the time thought he was referring to him!  The chats onstage in between pieces were insightful and funny and I think created the perfect mood for the event.

After the encore (Purcell’s ‘Curtain Tune on a Ground’ from Timon of Athens – which has since become a favourite song of mine) I grabbed the tripod and raced down to catch audience feedback and get those vox pops I needed.  My apprehension in obtaining willing participants was unfounded; pretty much every audience member I approached was gushing with praise for the concert/gig and in no time at all I had more than enough vox pop fodder for the video.  You can see the resulting video clip below, hope you enjoy it!  (sorry about audio quality.. we are purchasing new equipment to solve that)

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Next Nightshift is on 20 October at QEH.  More info here: http://www.oae.co.uk/thenightshift/

Last Friday saw The Night Shift (our late-night informal concert series) take place for the very first time at Wilton’s Music Hall. The evening started off with music from Nathan ‘Flutebox’ Lee and guests – as you might glean from his name, he plays the flute and beatboxes at the same time – stunning. At 9 the OAE came onto the stage for a concert of music by Purcell and Handel, led by Matthew Truscott and featuring soprano Anna Dennis, and the evening was capped off with a DJ set from Nick Luscombe. Wilton’s was packed to the rafters with a very appreciative crowd, and the Orchestra sounded fantastic in the acoustic of Wilton’s. We hope to return!

Our resident Night Shift photographer Joe Plommer was there to capture the evening. Here is a selection, and the full set can be viewed on our Flickr page.

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”

Last Wednesday OAE friends gathered together for a Baroque dancing session. Tutor Nicola Gaines led us through the basic steps of Baroque dance, and we were accompanied by a quartet of OAE players, performing music by Handel and Purcell and also taking a solo spot later in the evening while we all had a rest and a drink!

It seems a long time ago now, but you may recall we were in the middle of a heatwave last week, which was the only problem as most of us were worn out before we had even started! But there’s no denying that a good time was had by all. Here are a few pics from the event.

Theresa Traynor, Development Officer

We snatched a few admittedly very poor quality pics from this mornings rehearsal of Bonduca at Kings Place . Check out the tree-like thing centre stage!

In a quick update to the below – here are a couple of clips from Purcell’s Bonduca.

To Arms

Sing, sing, ye druids

Clips © Decca

Next week we have a week of performances coming up at our Kings Place Headquarters, our first public performances there since our concerts as part of the opening festival last Autumn. A definite highlight will be Henry Purcell’s Bonduca (or Boadicea). One of the last things he wrote, the music was written for the play of the same name, and as you might expect it concerns Queen Boadicea. Indeed, the plays subtitle is The British Heroine. We’ll be performing Henry Purcell’s music alongside excerpts from the play, in a performance which has been put together by OAE violnist Roy Mowatt. Alongside the Orchestra and Choir of the Enlightenment there will be a cast of actors and the whole performance will be directed by Pia Furtardo, who recently worked with director Katie Mitchell on ENO’s After Dido. It should be a pretty special evening!

We asked Roy a few questions about the piece: Read the rest of this entry »

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