A Review of 2022 – including R&D for Down the Rabbit Hole

This year has been full of new challenges and experiences. It has been fun looking back over the blog posts from 2022 and remind myself of the work I have achieved and the fantastic colleagues I have worked with.

In February, I produced my first ever “Research and Development Week”, where I worked with several artists to explore how to make music accessible to children across the hearing spectrum. It was thrilling to lead an activity like this as I had always loved participating as a singer in R&D sessions. Ahead of the week, I reflected on how previous R&D sessions were run. What I thought went well and what could be improved. I worked with Kathryn Bilyard at Improbable (a theatre company) to explore Open Space Technology, a method they use in their rehearsals and their “Devoted & Disgruntled” sessions, where they invite creatives to openly discuss theatre and the performing arts, with the hope to change the industry for the better. To Prepare for my R&D Week, I prepared songs and script drafts to provide artists a jumping off point. I visited primary schools to observe music lessons both in hearing and deaf schools. These observations and reflections helped me to create activities which we tested as a group to see if they were accessible and reached particular learning aims. I felt that my R&D week was successful as I explored many different ideas and concepts, which enabled me to review and adapt my thoughts around deafness, listening and music. It also fed my desire to follow through and really try to produce my first opera.

Thanks to my Develop Your Creative Practise grant from Arts Council England, I undertook a playwriting course that taught me new writing skills and gave me the confidence to complete my first libretto. I interviewed Dame Evelyn Glennie, a world-renowned deaf percussionist, who reminded me that listening isn’t so black and white. I collaborated with WOOJER, a company specialising in Haptic Technology. I undertook lessons from Internationally renowned singers such as Sally Matthews, Nicky Spence, Kathryn Lewek and Karen Cargill. I also interviewed Educational Specialists at the Royal College of Music to ensure that my activities met the current School’s Curriculum.

In 2022, I also created many memorable moments with my family and found time to rest and recharge. I celebrated three Weddings, one in Glasgow, when my little brother Thomas married his wonderful wife, Anna. Another in Northumberland to celebrate my Uncle Craig’s wedding to Nisa. Finally, in Romania to attend our wedding blessing in Iasi. My older Brother Matt and his husband Alex also brought some puppy love into the year with the addition of Kevin.

In the summer, I embarked on a tour of Scotland with Scottish Opera in the role of Uccellina in their production of BambinO. Whilst in Scotland, I discussed my project with the fabulous Education and Outreach team at Scottish Opera. It was fantastic to pick their brains and discuss our shared experiences working in Schools. Their guidance was so helpful that I started asking previous tour managers, stage managers, and producers for tips to get a more accurate picture of surprises that can crop up.

In the autumn, I transitioned to a more ghostly atmosphere when I worked with Gothic Opera on their production of Le Loup-Garou and Le Dernier Sorcier. I am a huge fan of Halloween, so I loved participating in a spooky double bill.

Later in the year, I was awarded a National Lottery Project Grant from Arts Council England. This award will help me to produce “Down the Rabbit Hole”, an interactive opera for children across the hearing spectrum. I was proud of this achievement as the grant application process took months to complete as I had to learn how to navigate and write the funding application. I was writing most of the application around my Scottish Opera Tour commitments, meaning I had to burn some midnight oil. It has been a hard slog, but Arts Council England provided fantastic help along the way, which I tapped into. I also attended training days with YCAT and Manchester Collective, who helped to teach me and the cohort producing and fundraising skills. 

In November, I collaborated with Newstead Abbey and Nottingham Trent University Costume and Film Departments in their Alice re-imagined project. I loved working with the students and wearing their designs as I acted in their short film, which was exhibited as part of Newstead Abbey’s Christmas Event.

It has certainly been a year to remember and I can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store.

47 thoughts on “A Review of 2022 – including R&D for Down the Rabbit Hole

  1. I enjoyed reading your recap of the year, Charlotte. Thank you for working so hard to bring music into people’s lives, especially the lives of children. You are hard working, talented, beautiful and most of all, have a good, kind heart. That combination will carry you a long way in life. ❤️ Wishing you and George the best in 2023.

    1. Hello Lavinia,
      Thank you for your heart-warming comment. I really do try my best and I am humbled by your compliment. I enjoy working with children. Music is still so magical to them at this age as they have so much to experience. However adults too can be fabulous! 😉
      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello John,
      Thank you, fingers crossed this new year will keep me busy too!
      Best Wishes,

  2. Yes, congratulations on so productive a year after the fallow nightmare on 2021. I did worry if the pandemic might derail your progress, but clearly not. Your ambition, your passion and your talent still blaze beautifully – and you still take a nifty photo! Here’s to even better in 2023.

    1. Hello Martin,
      Thank you very much! Following covid the opportunities open to me have been quite different to what I was hoping for and at times this can be quite challenging. But I have really tried to keep my spirits high and make things happen for myself so that I can still find ways to share my music professionally. Sharing my journey weekly, does help me to stay positive and I’m grateful for friends like you.
      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello Annette,

      Thank you so much! Something tells me its going to be a rollercoaster and I can’t wait to experience it with you.

      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello Mart,
      Thank you for reading and supporting me all year long! I am really grateful.
      Best Wishes,

  3. You had a great year in twenty-two! Life’s so beautiful. Spirit’s so free. Here’s to one more in twenty-three.

    1. What a fabulous comment – I may work that rhyme into a song! I hope life continues to bring you joy and reveals its beauty to you each day.
      Best Wishes,

  4. Sounds like a wonderful, hard worked year. Sorry I’ve not been around a lot. Full time work and then I lost my Riley in December was too much. I hope in 2023 I’ll be able to follow your achievements a little more. xx

    1. Hello Christine,
      I am really sorry to hear of your dear Riley’s passing. He always seemed like a happy dog, who loved accompanying you on your adventures. Sending you a huge virtual hug. I appreciate you making the time to read my blog and keeping me updated.
      Much love,

    1. Hello GP,
      Thank you for being one of the best cheerleaders possible! I am always happy to see your comments. Have a great year ahead.
      Best Wishes,

      1. I’m sure going to try, but for the life of me, I can not figure out where my time keeps disappearing. 🙄

    1. Hello Sheila,
      Thank you for your new year wishes! I hope that you have a wonderful year ahead.
      Best Wishes,

  5. What a busy and productive year you have had, Charlotte! I’m afraid I haven’t been blogging or reading blogs for nearly a year and have missed most of your posts. May I wish you and George a very happy and successful 2023. Much love, Clare xx

  6. You did have quite a year! I understand that so much is going on because you are out there making it happen, and I do admire that 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful 2023 and see some of dreams, such as your “Down the Rabbit Hole”, come to life.

  7. Wow, yes a wonderful year and I hope 2023 and the following ones will be as rich, professionally with lots of happiness in your daily life with George, with your family and with your friends.

    Proud of you my friend and I hope to have the pleasure of creating a voice and image show together one day!

  8. You managed to cram so much both professionally and personally into 2022! I can only imagine what 2023 holds for you! All the best from a follower across the pond…

    1. Oh my Noelle, I’m really testing the limits of my capabilities right now! My blog and blog friends are suffering from my inattention so thanks for keeping an eye on me.
      Best wishes

  9. Such a wonderfully beautiful and successful year for you, Charlotte, and yes ~ ’23 is going to bring you (and therefore all of us) so much more. Take care ~

  10. Well, well, you certainly have been busy. Well deserved after lockdown.
    My very best wishes for 2023. I’m sure you remember what we Frogs say in the theatre: M…

  11. Here’s to more “years to remember!” 2022 was so full of wonderful things. May many more blessings come to you in 2023.

  12. What a great year!
    This year will only get better. You are going to be busy.
    It’s been wonderful following you on your blog. I’ve caught most of your posts, and it’s always a delight.
    Congratulations Charlotte!

    1. For the first time I’m actually testing my limits 😂 My blog and my blog friends are suffering my inattention, my apologies for that but thank you for keeping an eye on me.
      All my best always

    1. Thank you Diane, yes all the cylinders are fired up at the moment, balancing about three projects at the same time. My opera production Down the Rabbit Hole goes into full rehearsal next Thursday, I’m excited to get started.
      Best wishes

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