Summer Opera Scenes

May 13, 2018 — 50 Comments


On Friday 18th May 2018 at 17:30 pm I will be the Controller in a scene from ‘Flight’ at the Royal College of Music, the scene will be directed by William Relton and conducted by Peter Selwyn.  Flight is an English opera with music by Jonathan Dove, who also wrote ‘A Walk from the Garden’ that I performed for Scottish Opera Connect three years ago, playing the role of Eve. The libretto (text) for ‘Flight’ was written by April De Angelis.

‘Flight’ had its premiere mainstage performance at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1999.  The inspiration for the story was from the true-life story of an Iranian refugee Nasseri who lived at Charles de Gaulle Airport unable to exit the terminal.  Did you watch the 2004 Spielberg film with Tom Hanks called ‘The Terminal’ that was also based on Nasseri story stuck in terminal one in a Paris airport for 18 years, from 1988 to 2006, without any passport and documents?  It never ceases to amaze me how life is often stranger than fiction. I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently in airport lounges listening to Controllers and soaking in the atmosphere, watching and waiting, and worked on the score to try to get it off copy (learned off the score) ready for rehearsals this past week.

Dove said, “Some of the characters were based on personal experience”. For example, Dove once made a difficult journey to an airport during a rail strike to meet a “Significant Person” who never showed, a similar situation that happens to the Older Woman in the production.

He also made the mistake of thinking that a floundering relationship would be rectified by an overseas trip, like Bill and Tina. And he once sat with two people who were starting a new life in another country, which pops in with Minskman and Minskwoman.

“I think we had the feeling that the airport was potentially a kind of microcosm, with lighter elements.” He said.


Carly Owen As The Governess and Me as Flora, From January 2017

On Tuesday 22nd May 2018 at 17:30pm, I will play the Governess in a scene from ‘The Turn of the Screw’, this was the Britten opera that was my first opera scene at the Royal College of Music when I performed the role of the child ‘Flora’ in the Britten Theatre so it’s fitting that it will be my last scene.  I did quite comprehensive research last year so I got out all my old notes and references to get into the new character, this is a fabulous opportunity to expand my work on this great opera. The score is very tricky.  I’ve enjoyed working with Marcella Di Garbo, who plays Miss Jessel, since my return to London. The scene is being directed by Stuart Barker who directed my scene from the ‘Dialogue of the Carmelites’ so it’s lovely to work with him again and the ever-wonderful Michael Lloyd conducting, with Lucy Colquhoun on piano.  Tickets for both events are free but require booking ( Click Here )

I will try and get some photos of both casts this week to share with you all.

50 responses to Summer Opera Scenes


    Good luck with both performances, both sound very diverse x


    I am fascinated by the description of the first production. Looking forward to your next post AND wishing you magic for both endeavors! <3


      Thanks Annette I was up in my pretend control box (the stage balcony) feeling like a flight controller in my smart uniform. I love how Jessica did my hair in like a French twist, I’m going to have to learn how to do that myself.
      All my best wishes


    Best wishes on both, Charlotte. Your photo captures a happy woman. Very lovely.


    Good luck with the show. I absolutely love that first picture of you, beautifully taken as well.


    I really like the Lighting and Color Tone of the “Flight” Set. Though I have heard of the Tom Hanks film, I’ve never seen it. Also, I’m wondering about the Acting part of what you do. How do you ‘ignore’ the audience to stay in Character? Or do you embrace the audience while staying in Character? It would seem difficult to not be distracted by them to me.


      Our opera scene set wasn’t quite so spectacular that one was from Scottish Opera, I was up in the balcony in my pretend control box.
      That’s a good question Eric, it’s something you have to get used to, I’ve been on different stages with audiences several times each year from about the age of 6, and early on my parents always used to say everyone just wants you to do well and be entertained by the show so don’t be nervous by all the people watching, so although I don’t ignore people, I’m also not distracted and try not to be nervous.
      Best wishes


    Hoping for the best. I love the pictures.


    Best wishes for your upcoming performances. Looking beautiful in black 🙂


      Thank you Gaurab, lovely to hear from you, one of my first blog friends 😊 time has passed by so fast can you believe I’m in my final year. I don’t often wear black 🧡💙💛❤️💜🖤 I’m more rainbow 🌈😀. But I was practicing ready for some new headshots.
      Best wishes


    As usual your post lets us followers share in your excitement. And that first photo of you – wonderful!
    I’m sure next Friday’s performance will be great. How I wish I could get to London, for both performances but particularly for the Britten; I’ve seen Peter Grimes but never The Turn of the Screw. I’m always astounded by how much research you do to support your roles.
    Thank you for your addition to my ‘haiku’; I haven’t been able to make the promised response yet (a particularly busy time – including a ‘performance’ by our writers’ club in Leeds Art Gallery – I wasn’t performing but ‘official photographer’; I will be ‘performing’ in the second part on 2 June – and a pre-birthday ‘treat’, so mostly good (which I haven’t yet had time to post about) but be assured I will be penning those 17 syllables soon.


      Glad you like the first photo i was practicing my none smiling look for some new headshots I was having taken.
      Fridays performance is done some photos backstage and a couple I’ve seen of the show will be in a blog post tonight.
      I’m researching and watching as many operas as I can, I try to get notes after each show I see which is why my blogs been so useful to my studies as I’ve recorded many of the professional show information as I’ve gone along.
      I hope you have a great writers show, I know you will and have a fabulous birthday. No rush on your reply I know what it’s like at the moment to be a busy 🐝.
      Best wishes


    A lovely post and photos Charlotte. Congratulations and good luck for your upcoming roles, I wish I could be there. See you soon 😘


      You should come down with Mum on Tuesday, I’d love to see you xxx. If not it won’t be long to Tideswell I hope you and Terry can make that George is playing.
      Best wishes


    Great story. I remember Terminal. It was an excellent film.


    Charlotte , good luck on these 2 performance ‘s.. I love your photo too.😘😘


      It’s my practice headshot, glad you liked it. First performance down, next one Tuesday, I’m so happy to hear you’re going to try and make it to my final performance on June 4th in London, I’m planning a lovely 45 minute program.
      Best wishes


    Break a leg, Charlotte!


      Thanks GP, I enjoyed the performance and I hope the audience did too. It was lovely finally meeting Hilary in person And her husband Edwin after the show and my parents managed to get an afternoon off work to train down to watch so that always adds a bit of excitement.
      Best wishes


    From Flora to Governess sounds like a growth experience. Your depth of experience will pay off. You are one very busy Lady, Charlotte! Can’t wait to see the photos. Best of luck with your performances, Darlene


      The costume lady said the same thing from little girl in plaits to a bride, a boy and next a Governess you never can expect what i’ll Pop up in next hehe. The photos are going on tonight. Thanks for the good luck Darlene.
      All my best wishes


    Wow, that’s nice news! And A walk in the garden is a great memory, it was great to come see you sing 🙂 – 3 years, my god, time flies!
    Full of good thoughts for the future, you’re fabulous !!


    Turn of the Screw? Very cool.


    Hi Charlotte
    Nice Blog


    best whishes!


    I think it was Oscar Wilde who said ‘Truth is stranger than fiction, because we have made fiction to suit ourselves.’ I couldn’t agree more; it’s one of my favourite quotes. And after all, where do people think we writers come up with all our crazy ideas from, anyway? Best wishes for your upcoming performances, Charlotte!

    Best regards,



      Thank you Cate, I can’t believe he managed to survive for nearly two decades in an airport, never leaving can you! Thank you for your best wishes, one down and one to go on Tuesday, then it’s just my final recital performance.
      Best wishes


    We had a beautiful production of The Turn of the Screw here in Frankfurt a few years ago, with Miah Persson at the young governess and Emma Gardner as Flora. (Later revived several times with other casts.)


      It’s been a super scene to work on I’ve been working hard to try to bring Stuart’s vision for the scene into reality. I’d a different version of it when I first storyboarded it but this is what I love about opera being challenged to try new things all the time.
      Best wishes


    You look absolutely beautiful in that first photo, Charlotte! Best of luck in your two upcoming performances.


      Thank you Clare I was trying a none full tooth smile for some new headshots I’d booked I’m glad you liked it. One performance down, I’ve just put some of the photos on my blog and one performance to go on Tuesday.
      Best wishes


    Lovely photo, Charlotte! Wishing you lots of luck in your next two performances. How wonderful for you to have so many shows to keep you busy. Hugs xx


      Thank you Janice, I love to be busy, I’m dreading September in a way because my structure will go. I like to be up against it with deadlines to meet, at the moment I’m practicing my final scene as the Governess, doing final preparations and practice for my final 45 minute recital, preparing for the role of Cunegonde in Candide which is a lovely role for me with lots of words to learn and also looking over Mansfield Park ready for August, I’ve listened to the Audio book by Jane Austin, done some research and am waiting on the score to mark out the role of Maria Bertram. Then voila onto the next stage of this crazy adventure 🎢 .
      Best wishes


    Congratulations and well done with it all. Well-deserved.


    Sounds like a whirlwind, as always you look and sound like an angel.
    Be sure to keep tour strength up. Benjamin.

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