Entries by Clare

To Hull and back

Piano accompaniment is one of those skills which, the more brilliantly it is executed, the less one is aware of quite what is being done. The sense of exposure I generally feel when about to start a recital from memory is lessened by the knowledge that behind me there is an amazing person, apparently with […]

The Ubiquitous Woman revealed

Last week we gave a presentation of early development work on The Ubiquitous Woman, a comic chamber opera commissioned by New Notes & Noises. After a week of workshops on the music and structure, we performed two sections of the piece. The opening few scenes introduce Sabine, her husband Tony, Sabine’s clone Judith and Theo […]

Joubert’s Jane Eyre

This week I was part of the world premiere of John Joubert’s Jane Eyre, his seventh opera. Charlotte Brontë’s story is tightly condensed into two acts, focussing on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, but giving prominence to the scene with St John Rivers, which Joubert considers the emotional turning-point of Jane’s journey. I had […]

New Notes & Noises Launches

I’m very pleased that I am finally able to announce the launch of a new charity I have set up to help support high-quality performances of new work and multi-disciplinary collaboration. New Notes & Noises will look to help support every step of the process of commissioning, developing, rehearsing and producing work in an exciting […]

A tough act to follow

I’m on the e-mailing list for various London venues, and sometimes I book on a whim for something that just catches my eye. Last night’s double-bill of Big Mouth and Small War at the Barbican’s Pit was just such an occasion. I have been involved in writing and producing one-woman shows for myself and I […]

A Viennese Quartet Party

Last week I teamed up with Martin Nelson and The Revolutionary Drawing Room to bring to life a series of wonderful anecdotes about Viennese music-making at the time of Haydn and Mozart. The narrative relates stories from the autobiography of Michael Kelly, an Irish tenor and theatrical manager. Along with his English colleague Nancy Storace, […]

Près des ramparts de Séville

A brief trip to Seville recently reminded me of how many operatic connections the city has. My companion and I set out to track down what traces remain of the real people and locations that inspired operatic treatment, as well as observing the marketing advantages to be wrung from these associations. Apart from famous locations […]

With the Finzis in Ashmansworth

Last weekend I visited the village of Ashmansworth to take part in the Finzi Friends‘ day of activity commemorating the 60th anniversary of Finzi’s death. The tiny church outside which Gerald and his wife Joy are buried (left) is just big enough to cram a baby grand in next to the font and still leave […]

Fresh Ayres

I love working with strings and so jumped at the chance to give the first performance on 11 June of Artemisia, a cycle of songs by Paul Ayres about the life of ground-breaking Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentilleschi. Sharing the performance with me were Daniel Pioro (violin) and two members of the Castalian Quartet, Charlotte Bonneton […]

Stevie Smith and Artemisia Gentileschi

This month I am getting inside the minds of two very different female artists, the English poet Stevie Smith and the Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Stevie Smith (1902-1971) was a novelist and poet, perhaps best known for her poem Not Waving But Drowning, and for her novel The Holiday. A quirky and sometimes difficult personality, […]