Our first two dramas of this term both have student sound designers – Eleanor Coxall (Sound Designer for The Cherry Orchard) and Lewis Hannaby (Associate Sound Designer on the Crimp plays). And what better fun is there for sound designers than taking apart an old piano to see what weird and wonderful sounds one can produce from it! So, suitably assisted by Chris Harmon (Production Sound Engineer) and Maxam Gamble (Sound assistant) the sound team have just spent the afternoon doing exactly that. The Cherry Orchard requires the sound of a snapping piano string (so out come the pliers) and the Crimp plays require some natural reverb for the popping of balloons (a struck piano sound board has some wonderful resonances), so the team recorded well over 90 minutes worth of sound that now needs editing and processing and more editing etc.
So check out the photos below and don’t worry, the piano was already unplayable…
On Sunday Nick Peel was at the annual ‘Knights of Illumination Awards’ which honour the best in lighting design across the fields of theatre/opera television and concert/events lighting. It was a very enjoyable evening as he met up with former Guildhall lighting lecturer Steve Huttly and many former students and other friends of Guildhall from the lighting world.
It was a successful evening for two designers who are associated with Guildhall, who both won a full size steel sword to hang on their wall.
Winner of The Robert Juliat Theatre Award for Opera:
Simon Corder for ‘The Queen of Spades’ at Holland Park
Simon will be lighting this terms opera ‘The Consul’ as the latest of many shows at Guildhall.
Winner of The ADB Theatre Award for Plays:
Richard Howell for ‘Guards at the Taj’
Richard graduated from Guildhall in 2006 and has since built a career in lighting design including lighting an opera double bill at Guildhall ‘The dancing master’ and ‘I pazzi per progetto’ in 2015.
So here we all are again! The summer has flown by and we’re all back to warmly welcome another smily and excited group of new students! All the new Technical Theatre Arts, Video Design for Live Performance and Collaborative Theatre Production and Design students have just completed their first week…and they’re all still smiling! It’s been a great week meeting them all and we are all looking forward to teaching them over the next few years.
We’ve also got three productions in rehearsals and preparation –
Crime 1, 2, 3 and 4
The Cherry Orchard
Check out the links for more details.
In the few weeks since Easter we’ve had two Opera productions – ‘Radamisto’, which is about to open in the Milton Court Theatre, and ‘The Wager’, a Chinese opera that came over from Beijing and was performed in the Silk Street venue.
‘Radamisto’ is one of our three big annual operas. Directed by John Ramster, designed by Louis Carver and with lighting design by Jake Wiltshire this Handel opera has been set in a museum with some amazing automated set-pieces and suitably Baroque orchestra in the venture pit.
‘Radamisto’ opens on June 5th and tickets can be bought here.
‘The Wager’, from Beijing, was a collaboration between the Chinese opera company’s singers and the orchestra from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Based on the novel A Gamble on a Snowy Night by Gao Xiaosheng this production gave a rare opportunity for our students to collaborate with the singers and production crew from China. Check out the photos below for a glimpse of tech rehearsals.
As part of the Technical Theatre course, students of all specialisms are encouraged to collaborate across disciplines and acquire new skills. A major part of that process are the Associated Studies sessions. In these, students sign up to explore other areas of creative technical practice, with a view to perhaps pursuing these as a minor subject in their degree. Last week, the lighting department hosted students from Design Realisation and Video, who created a beautiful light installation based on the works of J.M.W. Turner. Here are the results of playing with a diffraction grating, and an image of the final piece…
Collaborative projects are one of the key aspects of professional and academic development here at the Guildhall School and the most recent was last Friday’s ‘Digital Storytelling’ in the Milton Court Studio Theatre. The brain child of acting lecturer Professor Ken Rea and Video Lecturer Dan Shorten, the project involved the year one acting students and the year one VDLP (Video Design for Live Performance) students. Each group of three or four actors was allocated a Video Designer who worked with the actors to develop a projection that would be an integral aspect of the story telling. Initial feedback has been hugely praising so maybe it’ll become a permanent fixture of the first year timetable!
Check out the pics below for a glimpse into ‘Digital Storytelling’
Earlier this month was the USITT (United States Institute of Theatre Technicians) conference in St. Louis, Missouri, where the Guildhall School was ably represented by Stuart Calder (Guildhall Associate Producer), Nick Peel (Guildhall Lecturer in Lighting and Design) and Andy Taylor (Guildhall Head of Theatre Technology). The event ran over three days with a main expo hall where visitors could wander through the various displays and talk to a wide variety of theatre companies, technicians and educators, interspersed with a range of seminars covering a wide range of technical theatre topics and areas for discussion.
The USITT website is here. Check it out for a look at their activities and a glimpse into next year’s conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida! Maybe see you there…