Arts: Rumblings of discontent on the Factory floor

David Freeman (right) on the Arts Council's decision to cut the company's grant: "One of its justifications is that, when Opera Factory started, it was the only company of its sort, whereas now there are lots of little companies. That's an alibi. The reasons I set up Opera Factory still apply. There's no other company, with the exception of City of Birmingham Touring Opera, which has consistently made an impact on audiences. The little companies are mostly so small that the Arts Council can give them a little money, and be seen to be furthering the cause of new opera. I'm not decrying the work of those companies, but to pretend that that relates to what Opera Factory managed on minuscule amounts of subsidy is, frankly, insulting."

Paul Daniel, Music Director of English National Opera, held the same post with Opera Factory from 1982 to 1989: "I first worked with David on Orfeo at the Coliseum in 1981, and we were already planning the first Opera Factory season. That was a kick-start to my career; I might have ended up being a repetiteur in Germany. David taught me to get behind the reason a piece is written, behind the reason a company puts a work on in the first place, learning to question why the writer ever put a mark on the paper in the first place. Another valuable lesson was David's method of preparation with the whole ensemble - singers, director, conductor, stage manager, designer - playing games, doing physical exercises together. Things which, in the Western theatre, have become something to scoff at. Things like that, the internals of putting on opera, are with me all the time. I don't think I'd have learnt them without Opera Factory."

The soprano Janis Kelly was a regular with the company through the 1980s:

"I saw the company's Punch and Judy in 1982, which gave me a headache for two days, but I was very impressed with the commitment and intensity of the performance, and was intrigued that there might be a space in the singer's brain that could take on more thought. I have to say it's not necessarily always a good thing for young singers. We went on journeys into uncharted waters, and you needed experience and a leap of faith. It wasn't always easy, there was a lot of improvisation - digging into people's psyches - that involved emotional pain, but if you don't take risks, you don't learn anything. I learnt a lot, and I'm very grateful."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine