Wednesday 21 June 2017

The Mill Hill Music Festival Update - Phew! What a scorching Opera!

So did you make it to Hartley Hall yesterday, for the Pop-Up Opera? Well if the answer is yes, you will no doubt have had a fantasic night. Maybe, you weren't tempted? Opera is a bit high brow for you? It was in Italian, so you wouldn't be able to follow the action? Now I'm not an Opera buff, but it was amazing. For those of us who don't speak the lingo, there were subtitles. But these were subtitles with a difference. They were specially adapted to a Mill Hill audience, bringing much hilarity! The phrase "The rich count  who lives up on the hill" became "The rich bloke who lives in Uphill Road" was just one example.

For me, it was a fairly light touch day. There was no requirements for sound systems, so my main efforts were moving the piano onto the stage. Gerry did the lights.

Opera singers do not need mics. Several people complimented me on how well we'd done the sound, but even the piano was not amplified. Opera is a regular feature of the festival. For me, Pop-Up Opera is the best we've seen, they've all been fantastic, but I feel Pop-Up Opera are very true to the origins of the form. We see Opera as high brow entertainment with the ENO and the Royal Opera House. Many perceive it as high pitched, unintelligable warblings. The audience yesterday, which was rather full, saw how it should be. It was funny, bawdy and delivered with huge energy and passion. The jokes were genuinely funny and worked well.

Afterwards, we chatted to several members of the company. They were highly complimentary about the festival, saying it was great to play such events. They thoroughly enjoyed the reception they got. If you missed it this time, make sure you check out the Opera in two years!

So what have we got coming up?

Kevin Fitzsimmons
Tonight, we have Jazz at the Mill Hill Golf Club, with Kevin Fitzsimmons, one of the most individual male jazz voices to emerge on the UK jazz scene in recent times. This is hosted by The Mill Hill Jazz Club. If you've not been to the Jazz club before, why not use this great opportunity to check out a great artist at a great venue. The Jazz club has been running since 1999 at a variety of locations, before settling at the Golf Club. They put on some fantastic artists, so even if you can't make tomorrow, be sure to check them out!

Robert Fowler
Thursday is another jazz event, with Robert Fowler, veteran of the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, the Back to Basie and BBC Big Bands, and Humphrey Lyttelton’s Band. The show is a tribute to Jazz great Gerry Mulligan,  remembered for his famous  quartets which have become part of jazz history; but in the early 1960s he led an outstanding and unique thirteen piece all-star ensemble that received acclaim from fans and critics alike.  The band of top British musicians will be underpinned by the rhythm section of award winning bassist Dave Green and drummer Steve Brown.
This show is at the Hartley Hall, and there are still tickets available.

The Silencerz & Recollection
Friday sees a very special event, with The Silencerz and Recollection live at The Mill Hill Golf Club. Get ready to dance the night away to the rockingest, rock-steady beat of the The Silencerz. One of country’s top ska bands, this nine piece outfit will bring the house down with a fun and energetic night, featuring covers of all your favourite ska tunes, along with a selection of originals. The band will be joined by special guest Lee Thompson, the nutty saxman from  Madness. Our evening begins with the always popular 5-piece cover-band, Recollection playing all your favourites from the 60’s to present day.This promisies to be a fantastic night and there is a barbeque as well, just in case you feel a bit peckish.

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Alan Warner
The festival closing party is at The Adam and Eve,  with guitar legend Alan Warner and his band. Alan made his name as a founder member of The Foundations, formed in the 1960's and still regularly played on the radio today, with hits such as Build Me Up Buttercup and Baby, Now That I’ve Found You. They will be playing an exciting mix of rock, blues, pop and West Coast covers plus original songs.It promises to be a cracking end to a brilliant festival!

The festival happens every two years. It is run on a not for profit basis by volunteers. We aim to bring you high quality music, from top musicians, as well as giving local artists an opportunity to play. Some of the events are ticketed and some are free to enter, so everyone can join in the fun. the Festival is supported by Mill Hill Music Complex, who supply PA and sound systems free of charge.  We firmly believe in supporting artists and musicians and all artists are paid for their performances.

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