I Look for the Think

A film by Chris Rawlence, Lucinda Jarrett and Karen Gillingham

Performed by Melanie Pappenheim, Rob Gildon, the Garsington chorus and a chorus of Stroke Ambassadors

Produced by Rosetta Life and Garsington Opera

 

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An opera based on the experiences of Kim and Sarah Fraser. Soon after breaking up with their partners and deciding to get married, Kim and Sarah found themselves in a new world: Kim had a severe stroke. 

Learn from Us

A short film by Magali Charrier and Lucinda Jarrett

Sung by Melanie Pappenheim

Produced by Rosetta Life

 

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Weather the Storm

Libretto by Chris Rawlence and Lucinda Jarrett, based on the contributions of many Stroke Ambassadors

Directed by Karen Gillingham

Conducted by Lea Cornthwaite

Performed by Charmian Bedford, Melanie Pappenheim, James Schouten, Rob Gildon, Victoria Couper, a chorus of NHS staff, a chorus of Stroke Ambassadors, the Garsington chorus

Produced by Rosetta Life and Garsington Opera

 

A 45-minute opera built round the stories of three stroke survivors Jawad Mohammed, Fiona Watson and Fernando Gomes dos Reis.

 

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Spirals

A film by Chris Rawlence and Lucinda Jarrett

Performed by Melanie Pappenheim and a chorus of Stroke Ambassadors

Produced by Rosetta Life

 

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Usually when I am working with the Stroke Ambassadors, I am writing songs with lyrics that originally come from them and have been shaped by Lucinda and Chris. As I write the songs I am aiming to present the lyrics in the best possible way, and I have anxieties as to whether I am managing to do that. Do the emotional implications of the music match the emotional implications of the words? Is the original intention of the lyrics enhanced by the music? Does the music make the lyrics clear? These are the same anxieties I have when writing any song or any opera, but they are more acute in this case, because I know that the songs are giving the Ambassadors a voice, and it seems to me that I have an ethical responsibility to support that voice.

 

In the film Spirals there is a song of this kind, a refrain that recurs. But the main part of the piece is made up of recordings of the Ambassadors’ spoken words, accompanied by instrumental music. Between us Lucinda and Chris and I have chosen the recordings and constructed, in collaboration with the Ambassadors, a narrative of trauma and recovery. Then I have worked with the recordings, creating a piece of music which showcases them, interweaves them, supports them, provides context and structure. As I work I am very aware of the ethical responsibility of presenting the contributions in the best possible way, and, as when I am composing songs, I have anxieties about whether I am honouring the material, whether I am doing everyone justice. But these anxieties are allayed by the generosity and care with which Lucinda and Chris treat the Ambassadors, in particular, presenting a series a screenings in which they are able to see the current state of the work and comment on it; then we work further on it, addressing concerns, picking up on suggestions.