The Blackheath Onegin
back stage at a community opera
by Cherry Potts & Anthony Stewart
About the Book
Since 2007 Blackheath Halls has put on an annual community opera to coincide with the end of the school year. These are fully staged productions with professional soloists and production team, an amateur orchestra, and chorus drawn from the local primary and special schools, and the local community. Six weeks of rehearsal are followed by four performances (and a postproduction party!)
I have been involved as a chorus member for the last three productions:
La Bohème (Puccini),
Orpheus and Eurydice (Gluck), and
The Elixir of Love (Donizetti).
This year despite the Halls receiving severe funding cuts, we put on our most ambitious production yet, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.
For the next 6 weeks social life will be negligible as we get to grips with a new score.So I decided to keep a diary of the rehearsals for Eugene Onegin at Blackheath Halls.
Writing the blog started as a bit of fun, and as an excuse to take pictures of a process that fascinates me.
Part way through I realised that I was getting a lot of hits, and that it really was becoming a marketing tool.
Then Rita Craft (Alto) asked me what I would do with it when it was finished. Being a bit slow on the uptake after a bit of prompting, I said
oh it could be a book...
and it could be used to raise funds for next year's Opera.
So thanks to Rita for pointing out the obvious to me!
80 pages of photographs and comment
Curved Air Press
ISBN 978 1 873148 28 0
Cherry is the author of numerous short stories, some of which have been anthologised in 'In and Out of Time', 'Perfect Pitch',and' From the Left', others have been published in magazines, and some performed and recorded at Liars' League, London; and Liars' League, Leeds.She has had two collections of stories published by Onlywomen Press: 'Mosaic of Air' and 'Tales Told Before Cockcrow'. The Blackheath Onegin is her first non fiction work. She is currently working on several novels and another collection of short stories. She is now harbouring an ambition to write the libreto of an opera, possibly based on the peasant's revolt.