A very belated update, but a few weeks ago I played in the Midsummer Opera performance of Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West. It was held at St John’s Church in Waterloo, which is an absolutely beautiful venue. The acoustics are great (why do I always want to spell that with two ‘c’s?), and the church itself is very imposing.
Zoe South played Minnie, and John Upperton was Dick Johnson (Ramerrez). Special acclaim to Zoe for singing while recovering from a chest infection! Also a special mention has to go to the Midsummer Opera Men’s Chorus, who were standing at the back of the violins. When you’re sawing away at some of the more emphatic sforzando bits, it’s always a help to be joined by what sounds like the massed ranks of the Russian Army! Some wonderful singing.
Also, of course, David Roblou as conductor is a force to be reckoned with. He managed to keep an entire hall spellbound for two nights, and a sell-out audience. Keep an eye on http://www.midsummeropera.org.uk/ for the date of the next performance, and come along to have a look!
Last night I went to the results and launch event of the Willesden Herald Short Story Prize 2014, and a Good Time Was Had By All ™. Some of the stories were performed by the Liars’ League (http://www.liarsleague.com/liars_league/about_the_league.html) which is a liaison between professional actors and short story writers. They have branches in London, Hong Kong, New York and Leicester, so if you’re globe-trotting then do check them out!
My story Rock Pools was read by the lovely Helen Belbin, who brought a depth of perspective and realism to it that blew me away.
Here we are in the interval:
Other stories included Megan Taylor’s Rash – which had half the audience members surreptitiously scratching – Dan Powell’s Rip Rap, Angela Sherlock’s Postman’s Knock, Joan Brennan’s Such is her Power, and Nick Holdstock’s Ward. Huge congratulations to the overall winner Nick Holdstock, and the runners-up Angela Sherlock and Joan Brennan!
Charles Lambert was the judge this year, and said a lot of awfully nice things about the stories. I dipped into the anthology on the way back, and can thoroughly recommend it! If you’d like to buy it, it’s available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Willesden-Herald-New-Short-Stories/dp/0985213337/
Of course, many thanks go to Stephen Moran for coordinating and organising the event, as well as reading the entries. If you’d like to enter the next one, keep an eye on http://www.willesdenherald.com/competition/welcome.php for submission dates.
Some time before starting this blog, Words and Women (http://wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk/) held the first Words and Women Writing Competition. I’m very pleased to announce that my story “A Time for Rain” was shortlisted in the competition, and included in the forthcoming anthology.
On 8th March, the anthology was launched to celebrate International Women’s Day. Bel Greenwood and Lynne Bryan worked incredibly hard to make sure that copies were edited and printed in time, and the result looks stunning! The launch was held in Norwich, and included readings from the anthology, a showing of a film about writing spaces, and two musical performances. It was very well-attended, and at times I wondered whether the next person to come in was really going to fit through the door, but somehow we managed! All in all, a brilliant way to celebrate International Women’s Day.
And if anyone is interested, you can buy a copy of Words and Women One at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Words-Women-One-Lynne-Bryan/dp/1910061018/ I thoroughly recommend it!