Behind the scenes at Blackheath Halls Opera

With less than a week to go until the first performance of The Adventures of Count Ory at Blackheath Halls, the whole building is buzzing!

Yesterday we had our team lunch which is always a good opportunity for all the professionals involved in the opera and Blackheath Halls staff to get together in this hectic period. In one way or another the whole staff of Blackheath Halls is involved in the opera and things work much better if the team and staff know each other.

Most of the creative team was at the lunch as well as the professional singers and the Halls’ staff. Lunch was prepared by Debra, Hannah, Helma and Rose, helped by our two work experience students Alice and Elizabeth, and not much food was left at the end!

Yesterday was the first time all the children and young people rehearsed in the Great Hall with the principals and Harry Fehr and Jack Furness were busy directing everyone, with the stage management team, led by Sasje Ekenberg, making sure that everyone was at the right place with the right props.

Our Technical Manager Malcolm Richards and his team have been busy setting up the Great Hall and Lighting Designer Christopher Nairn is making sure that his lighting design is executed according to plan.

Costume Supervisor Felicity Langthorne is busy in the Artist Room sorting out the costumes, helped by volunteer and member of the chorus David Culpan, whilst downstairs in our cafe/bar members of the chorus and volunteers Jane Ferguson and Rita Craft were busy putting hems in the nuns’ habits.

We have lots of props in the cafe/bar with the stage management team making sure everything is in the right place. We have an eclectic mix of props, a Madonna statue, tree branches, cafe chairs and even a book on Practical Economics (although I am not sure if this is a prop or ‘light’ reading left behind by a chorus member..)

Upstairs the Recital Room is being transformed into a dressing room for the chorus and there are lots of rails with the costumes for the chorus.

We also made a display about the opera for one of our outside display cases. It has quotes of participants in our opera and lines from reviews as well as photograph of the rehearsals. Do have a look at it, as you are walking past the Halls and don’t forget to buy tickets for one of the performances next week!


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