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A street opera version of Die Fledermaus will be performed across Merton and Wandsworth thanks to a joint project between the Wimbledon Foundation, the charity of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships, and Baseless Fabric Theatre.
The Merton-based company, who bring opera and theatre directly into public spaces, is the first organisation to receive funding from the Wimbledon Foundation’s new Arts and Community Engagement (ACE) Fund.
Baseless Fabric Theatre will use the grant to create an engaging street opera version of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus which will be performed in public spaces across the two boroughs in August 2019. As part of the project, Baseless Fabric Theatre will be running workshops in schools, community centres and lunch clubs for the elderly in Merton and Wandsworth as well as working with a local secondary school with low music provision to create their own version of the classic opera.
Joanna Turner, Artistic Director of Baseless Fabric Theatre said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded funding by the Wimbledon Foundation’s ACE Fund. Following on from the success of our Merton street operas Drifting Dragons (2016) and Cosi Fan Tutte (2017), the grant will enable us to adapt Die Fledermaus for free unticketed performances along the high street in various town centre locations across Merton and Wandsworth enabling everyone to experience high quality professional opera. The grant also allows us to continue and develop our extensive outreach programme with sessions for the elderly too frail to experience our promenade performance live and opera workshops for Merton and Wandsworth primary and secondary schools. We are also particularly excited to be working with two young people's groups from a local primary and secondary school in partnership with Merton Music Foundation and Jigsaw4u to create and perform their own versions of Die Fledermaus.”
Helen Parker, Wimbledon Foundation & Community Manager said, “We launched the ACE Fund with the aim of supporting a creative project that would engage the local community, particularly disadvantaged groups who might not ordinarily access the arts. We received many excellent applications, and it was an extremely hard decision-making process for our panel, but we are delighted to be supporting Baseless Fabric Theatre and the way in which they make opera accessible for everyone from the very youngest to the very oldest in our community. I am very much looking forward to seeing people experience the pop up opera performances as they are waiting for the bus or doing their shopping.”