The last two months at City of London Sinfonia have certainly been busy ones, with some sad ‘lasts’ and exciting ‘firsts’ of many projects and programmes. Back in May our residency at Opera Holland Park began with some fantastic productions of Puccini’s Il Trittico and Jonathan Dove’s Flight, while our Émigré concert series ended on a high with Georgian London at Shoreditch Church on 16 June. Towards the end of last month, the orchestra also went on a five-day tour of Mexico with our Principal Conductor, Stephen Layton and cellist Matthew Barley (you can read more about the trip on this blog post). In education news, we were delighted to put on another of our popular family concerts, Crash Bang Wallop! at Cadogan Hall and several KS1 projects in Tower Hamlets and Harrow with the wonderful New York composer and musician, Ljova.
Our Georgian London concert on 16 June marked the end of our Émigré concert series with a programme of music by Handel, Mozart, JC Bach and Haydn in the beautiful surroundings of Shoreditch Church. Below are a few photos taken from our Twitter followers of the rehearsals and concert. You can read more about the concert in our most recent blog post, Retrospective: Georgian London, and don’t forget you can listen to the whole thing online for 30 days on BBC IPlayer!
During our tour to Mexico we visited the towns of León, Guadalajara and Mexico City, performing a uniquely British programme of Vaughan Williams, Warlock and John Tavener. Below are some of our all-time favourite pictures from the trip, including musicians recovering from jet-lag in sombreros, late-night-tequilas, dancing to the local Mariachi band, and, of course, some incredible concerts! Read more about the tour here.
At the beginning of May we said a very sad goodbye to the wonderful New York composer and musician, Ljova after his two-week collaboration with us. Our last series of concerts and projects with him was part of our education programme, Meet the Music: he joined us in Tower Hamlets and Harrow for some great Key Stage 1 concerts, before heading to Cadogan Hall for Crash Bang Wallop! Bon Voyage! The story of the project was based on travelling and throughout the performances, our animateur-in-residence Claire Henry received musical postcards from him from around the world. It was great fun and, once Ljova returned to New York after finishing our two-week collaboration, he even sent us a real postcard as inspired by the concert (below)!
In other education news, last week many of our musicians and our animateur-in-residence, Claire Henry, travelled up to Lincolnshire to participate in a BBC Ten Pieces project with local primary and secondary schools. It was a fab performance and we loved being part of the project!
Office antics this month have revolved mainly around our store cupboard, most notably the CLoSer cushions and Crash Bang Wallop! props box! On a particularly rainy day, Pia and Rebecca raided our Crash Bang Wallop! Wacky Weather costumes for some brightly coloured raincoats, and at a post-concert dinner, the team enjoyed playing with Pizza Express’s kids menu!
Our annual residency at Opera Holland Park began last month, so the team and the orchestra have been busy setting up the pit, rehearsing and preparing for the fantastic productions they have on this year! You can find out more about what’s on at Opera Holland Park on their website.
Being beneath a mere canopy in the middle of one of West London’s most spectacular parks means that our visitors aren’t always of the human variety! We’ve had lots of wildlife sightings this year at Opera Holland Park, including some backstage bumblebees, the park’s resident peacocks (who aren’t making too much mischief during performances this year, thank goodness!) and a cheeky squirrel who gave himself a little tour of the set for Jonathan Dove’s Flight!