November 10 was a significant day for New Notes & Noises, on which we presented work in progress for our first project, The Ubiquitous Woman. Two sections of the chamber opera by Martin Ward and Di Sherlock were shown to an audience of potential sponsors, producers and other fellow professionals, exploring the first outline shape of characters and plot. Plus, of course, the question of how to clone a character Iive on stage.
For this early work, we chose to stay with the deliberately theatrical device of a puppet clone, with electronic multi-voicing to produce a chorus of clones. We were exceptionally lucky to have puppeteer Jenny Dee with us, whose additional skills include object manipulation, dance and acting as well as straight puppeteering. Damian Thantrey appeared as Tony, Sabine’s husband, and Robin Bailey as Theo, the lover of Judith (Sabine’s first clone in the story) while Clare McCaldin and Jenny switched physical roles as different clones and Clare sang live against herself in pre-recorded versions of various characters. Clarinettist Derek Hannigan joined pianist Libby Burgess and Martin Ward contributed live electronics to the mix.
We were delighted with the response from our audience, which was overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful to guests who felt moved to donate or pledge support to us on the night and we will continue to fund-raise from here to move towards a completed full score and, ultimately, a full production.