Brussels Light Opera Company

About BLOC

About BLOC

Brussels Light Opera Company is the largest amateur musical theatre company in Brussels and performs principally in English. It comprises over 200 members from 22 nations, encompassing a broad spectrum of cultures, ages and professions, who all share a love of musical theatre and who work together as amateurs to achieve high-quality productions as well as enjoy varied social activities.

Each year BLOC puts on at least two shows. The show performed in May or June auditions in January, rehearses on Monday and Tuesday evenings through the spring (adding in Sunday afternoons in the month before the show) and plays with a small band or orchestra to a 300 to 400-seater theatre for five performances. The show performed in November auditions in June (immediately after the spring show), and rehearses on Monday & Tuesday evenings from September onwards (adding in Sunday afternoons as the rehearsal process gathers momentum), culminating in five performances with full orchestra in a 650-seater theatre.

BLOC welcomes all newcomers. To perform in a show it is obligatory to audition for principal roles and for chorus. Formal musical training is not obligatory but reading music really does help during auditions and rehearsals. Nobody is paid save the Musical Director, Choreographer and orchestra members.

Non-singing members are very welcome as willing hands are always needed backstage or to help with administration. To stage any musical a small army of people is needed both before the show and backstage during the show. A production team is needed to give technical and administrative help both pre-show and backstage so many different skills are needed: carpentry, painting, costume designing and making, makeup and hairstyling, poster and programme design, making props, stage managing, sound, lighting…..the list is endless and if you haven’t tackled any of these before there are many on hand to teach and encourage. There’s something for everyone - it’s hard work but lots of fun.

The club holds an Annual General Meeting in March each year where the events of the year are documented and when members can air their views about how the club is run. The committee comprises an Honorary Chairman, Honorary Secretary and an Honorary Treasurer plus four more ordinary members. These officers of the club put themselves forward or are nominated each year and serve for that year, until the next Annual General Meeting (Or Extraordinary General Meeting). There is no fixed term of office.

BLOC’s social life includes barbecues, themed events, but most of all it involves companionship during or after rehearsal, and challenges in planning and running productions. Prospective members are always welcome to come and observe BLOC in action at our rehearsal home of De Kam in Wezembeek, so to find out more please contact one of the committee members - their email addresses are published on the BLOC website. BLOC is always looking for new members so if you think you might be interested, get in touch!

Contact

Click on the person that you want to contact.

Productions
January/February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
History

BLOC began life in 1975 as the Brussels Gilbert and Sullivan Society under the chairmanship of Peter Barker-Jones. During the next seventeen years, all the Savoy operas were performed on at least one occasion, either in concert or as a full production. However, the mounting costs of full scale operatic productions and the continuing dependence on ticket revenue as the primary source of income meant that the Society had to broaden its range of music theatre to attract larger audiences. For this reason, the Society was re-launched in 1992 as the Brussels Light Opera Company, or BLOC as it is commonly known.

Since the club’s name change in the 1990s there have been fewer G&S productions as BLOC has explored other musical theatre (Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, Beauty & The Beast, Pajama Game, Guys & Dolls, My Fair Lady, Sweeney Todd, Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol, Crazy for You - to name just a few).

A more detailed history of the recent period can be found in our newsletter archive (See ‘BLOCNotes’ archive).

Social Life

Although singing, acting and dancing are the company’s main concern, the social side is not neglected and several events are organised throughout the year, the main ones being the Christmas party and the September BBQ. Typically there is a cast party held for all participants, on stage and off, following the last performance of each show.

So along with cast parties and bbqs, themed events are sometimes planned and dance/acting/makup workshops to name just a few. Most of all, though, it means sharing the love of musical theatre with like-minded people – be they young or old, or whatever nationality (and BLOC has around 22 nationalities in its membership). It involves companionship during or after rehearsal, and challenges in planning and running productions. Prospective members are always welcome to come and observe BLOC in action at our rehearsal home of De Kam in Wezembeek, so to find out more please contact one of the committee members - their email addresses are published on the BLOC website. BLOC is always looking for new members so if you think you might be interested, get in touch!

Membership

BLOC is an amateur group of people of many nationalities, composed of adults and children of all ages. Although singing is the company’s main concern, the social side is not neglected and several events are organised throughout the year, the main ones being the Christmas party which usually follows the AGM and the summer party. Other events, such as performance from scratch which give all members a chance to sing solo parts, and trips to see performances by other groups are organised from time to time. All members receive a regular update on activities through the BLOC notes newsletter.

Not more than two major shows are performed during one calendar year and you do not have to take part in every show. Non-singing members are also very welcome as willing hands are always needed backstage or to help with administration. Please feel free to sit in on a few rehearsals before committing yourself. All newcomers wishing to perform on stage are required to take an informal voice test, but you are not expected to have any musical training in order to join.

Click here to see Bloc membership policy.

The American Theatre Company
English Comedy Club
European Theatre Club
The Irish Theatre Group
Brussels Shakespeare Society
English Language Theatre in Brussels
BLOCNotes

BLOC produces a newsletter each month called "BLOCNotes". If you wish to receive BLOCNotes directly please contact the Editor (see contacts list). Issues of BLOCNotes are also published on the website.

Auditions

Form for Crazy for You Auditions

A Typical Production

Two slots in the amateur theatre calendar set up by ACTS (Association of Choral and Theatrical Societies set up by the major amateur theatrical groups in Brussels) are allotted to BLOC. Once the dates are fixed, BLOC endeavours to book a theatre for these two slots.

The BLOC committee decides on the next show to be performed based on one or more proposals submitted by a team of Stage Director, Music Director and Producer(s).

For the show performed in May or June each year, auditions are typically held in December or January for the principal roles and chorus. These auditions are open to BLOC members and those who wish to become a BLOC member. Anyone accepting a role must become a member of the company – the fee is €40 to be a performing member and €20 to be a non-performing member. The fee is waived for members under 16 years of age.

Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings for soloists and Tuesday evenings for chorus, increasing to Sunday afternoons as well as the show gets nearer.

The last week of any production requires considerable commitment from all the cast, a typical diary being as follows:

Saturday or Sunday am Orchestra rehearsal, sometimes with soloists
Sunday pm Italienne (when the orchestra/band plays through the music of the show with the entire cast for the first time)
Monday all day Get In to the theatre of set, costumes, etc. by stage crew
Tuesday Evening Technical Rehearsal with accompanist/some orchestra
Wednesday Evening Dress Rehearsal with full orchestra
Thursday Evening Performance
Friday Evening Performance
Saturday Matinee and Evening performance
Sunday Matinee performance followed by striking of set
Sunday Evening After show party
Monday Get Out for stage crew

There is usually one week off and then the cycle starts again with preparation for the next show!

About BLOC

The Brussels Light Opera Company is an amateur musical theatre company that performs principally in English and has over 200 members from over 20 nations.

Each year BLOC puts on two shows, one in May-June and one in November. The spring show plays with a small band or orchestra to a 300 to 400-seater theatre and the November show performs with a full orchestra in a 650-seater theatre, each putting on 5 performances.   

BLOC welcomes all newcomers.  To perform in a show, it is obligatory to audition however formal musical training is not obligatory even though an ability to read music does help during auditions and rehearsals. Non-singing members are very welcome to help backstage, front of house or with administration.

Auditions and Rehearsals

The BLOC auditions serves to cast a show, making the best use of the individuals who audition.  Auditions check the quality and range of an individual’s voice, the ability to hold a specific voice part when singing in harmony and as appropriate, the ability to dance or to act a given role.

Auditions are open to all BLOC members, as well as to anyone interested in taking part in a show, on the condition that they join BLOC if successful in the auditions. For the Spring show, auditions take place in January and for the November show, in June immediately after the Spring show.

Rehearsals take place on Monday and Tuesday evenings, usually from 8 to 10 pm, adding in Sunday afternoons, usually from 2-6 pm as the show date approaches.

Membership

Any person who wishes may apply to become a member of BLOC.  All on-stage performers and all crew and anyone in the production team in any BLOC show must become Members of BLOC. On-stage performers pay an annual fee of 40 Euros (January to December); crew and production team pay an annual fee of 20 Euros.

Junior members (under age 16) do not pay a membership fee unless they turn 16 in the year in which the performance takes place.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
The Mikado
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum
The Pirates of Penzance
Guys and Dolls Rehearsal
Hello Dolly
Hello Dolly
Contrasts
Contrasts
Beauty & the Beast
Beauty & the Beast
Beauty & the Beast
Beauty & the Beast Rehearsal
Beauty & the Beast - Videos
Beauty & the Beast - Production Team
Beauty & the Beast - First Night
Beauty & the Beast - Dress Rehearsal
Beauty & the Beast - Technical Rehearsal
Basingstoke & Bust! - Production Team
Basingstoke & Bust! - After Show Party
Basingstoke & Bust! - Saturday Night
Basingstoke & Bust! - Opening Night
Basingstoke & Bust! - Dress Rehearsal
Evita
Evita - Backstage
Evita - Performance
My Fair Lady - Backstage
My Fair Lady - Performance
Sweeney Todd - Performance
Sweeney Todd
The Pajama Game - Performance
The Pajama Game
BLOCBusters - Team
Get Involved

Are you passionate about musical theatre?

Are you ready to try out those rusty vocal chords and dance routines?

Do you love sewing on sequins; making props; building sets?

BLOC can satisfy those and so many other musical theatre cravings. Come join us as we produce two musicals a year – one in May-June and one in November. We are always looking for talent in singing dancing and acting! We are always grateful for assistance in lighting, sound, costumes and set building!! And we would love you to join us in any of the crazy number of jobs required to put on a show in our very friendly and social club!!! So contact us NOW and tell us how you would like to get involved; BLOC is looking forward to having you as a member of our team.

Introducing ING Belgium

ING Belgium is a member of ING group, a leader in worldwide integrated financial services. ING Group ranks number 6 among European financial institutions. ING Belgium's core business areas are retail banking and insurance, corporate & institutional banking, financial markets & investment banking, asset management & private banking. ING Belgium also provides services in the areas of leasing and factoring.

Welcome to Belgium : the ING Expat Financial Services :

ING provides you with convenient bank and insurance services even before your arrival in Belgium, during your stay here as an expat and after your departure.

We also offer you a personalised approach for all your investment matters. In order to facilitate your choice, ING offers a free tax check to clarify your fiscal status in Belgium and abroad. We have grouped the most relevant information about resource like ability on the ING Expat web pages. Still need more information? Would you like to open your Expat bank account?

Do not hesitate to contact us at this email or dial +32 2 464 66 64

ING Belgium SA/NV

av Marnix 24
1000 Brussels

Tel: +32 (0)2 547 86 26
Fax: +32 (0)2 547 89 34

Contact: Dave Deruytter, Manager Expatriates & Non-residents
Email here

The Wizard of Oz
A Christmas Carol
The Pajama Game
Sweeney Todd
My Fair Lady
The Wizard of Oz
BLOC Busters
A Christmas Carol
Tickets

Membership Rules

To become a member, email the membership secretary here.

I. Membership eligibility

Any person who wishes may apply to the Membership Secretary to become a member of BLOC. By providing their e-mail address they will receive the newsletter BLOCNotes and can attend BLOC events, e.g. BBQs, Quiz Nights etc., Christmas Party.

  1. It is a requirement that ALL on-stage performers in any BLOC show first become Members* of BLOC for the calendar year during which the show in which they intend to perform takes place. Applications for membership and payment, if applicable, of the annual membership fee of 40 Euros must be made as soon as the person accepts a part, solo or chorus, in a BLOC production.
  2. At the same time ALL crew and production team in any BLOC show first become MEMBERS of BLOC for the calendar year during which the show in which they intend to perform takes place. Applications for membership and payment, if applicable, of the annual membership fee of 20 Euros must be made as soon as the person accepts to be part of the production.
  3. Subject to paragraphs 2.and 3, ORDINARY Membership is limited to persons of 16 years of age and over. Persons under the age of 16 may become JUNIOR Members and do not pay a membership fee. However, if their 16th birthday occurs in the calendar year in which they wish to perform in a show or be part of the production team then they are Ordinary Members for that year and are required to pay the annual membership fee.
  4. Members of BLOC have full voting rights at General Meetings (e.g. the Annual General Meeting)
  5. Honorary life membership may be granted by the Executive Committee, subject to approval at the AGM, to persons who are widely seen to have made major contributions to BLOC's success over the years. Honorary Life Members shall be entitled to the same privileges as Ordinary Members. A list of Honorary Life Members is available from the Executive Committee on request.
  6. The Executive Committee retains the right to refuse membership to any applicant. It may also expel any Member considered to have contravened the statutes or rules of BLOC or considered to have brought BLOC into disrepute.

II. Applications for Membership and Annual Membership fee

  1. Membership runs on a calendar year basis (1st January - 31st December).
  2. The annual membership fee is set at €40 for performing members and €20 for non-performing members. 
  3. To become a MEMBER of BLOC, contact the membership secretary via the link above. For all on-stage performers, point I.4 above shall apply. Only paid-up members are eligible to vote at the Annual General Meeting. Membership must be complete at least 48 (forty-eight) hours before the date/time of the AGM at the latest, if the ordinary member wishes to vote at the AGM.
  4. Those people whose membership lapses due to non-payment of fees and who wish to re-join must reapply for membership following the procedure outlined above.

* Referred to in BLOC's Statutes as «membres adhérents», translated as «active members».

June 2017
October-November 2017
Future Productions

Upcoming Productions below

BLOC Snapshots
The BLOC Christmas Party 2017


Twas the twelfth of December, when people from BLOC
Decided to party, De Kam was the spot,
The spotlights were hung by the stage front with care,
In hopes that someone who sang soon would be there.


The guests all arrived with great platters of food;
And hot mulled wine helped us to get in the mood,
We queued and we queued yet the food didn't stop
Soon all sat and chatted; ate, drank and what not.


When up on the stage music rang out so brightly,
Twas George on the piano playing so sprightly.
Away to the stage flew Diana the chair,
To introduce actors and singers so fair.

First up, Sam and Svea said it's cold outside,
The Lisa and Peter stood there side by side. 
Pot-ay-to, pot-ah-to, should words them untether?
What joy when they concluded they'd stay together.

Then what to our wondering eyes did appear,
Twas Bridget who tried to provoke the odd tear.
Her powerful vocals cried Don't Walk Alone,
Emotion'ly we felt that she set the tone

But who should then spring to the stage with a clatter?
Twas Richard with prose that he'd matched to the matter
To be dealt with soon in our show Urinetown.
So we heard of dunny-men, tanned and so brown.

Now dash away , dash away, dash away all!
Twas interval and time to shake off that thrawl!
But soon, in a twinkling, we heard once again
A charming soprano, Beatriz by name.

With Pierre by her side, they sang just like two cats,
Miaowing and hissing but none of it flat.
And then to the stage came Angela and Tony,
Singing Cole Porter with Crazy testimony.

And Thom had a list written out oh so long;
Directors and actors and others headstrong.
Not a list one desires to find oneself on,
We were then quite glad it was time for a song.

George took to the mike, with Zoe beside him,
They crooned to the blue tones of Elvis the rock king.
The next singer we know has just turned fifteen,
Constanza sang Les Mis, each note oh so clean.

Then joined on the the stage by Filippa and Bee,
They sang us an old Portuguese lullaby.
To round out this fabulous evening of fun,
Emanuelle sang us one last solo song.

Somewhere over the Rainbow you'll find -
A big group of BLOC cast and crew - wined and dined!
On stage there was singing and dancing for all,
When Peter the DJ did take to the hall.

One last final thank you to Dennis the star,
Who organised much and who then ran the bar!
And this poem's end seems to fit here just right:
“Happy Christmas to all, wasn't it a good night!”

Chairman's Letter - November 2017

Dear Blocnotes Reader! 

The leaves are beginning to fall from the trees, the evenings are drawing in, clocks have changed and we’re just 10 days off the first night of Crazy for You.  Watching the dance routines and hearing the BLOC voices in full volume is marvellous – by the end of November we’ll either be completely knackered or there will be a new vitality of a fitter, lighter BLOC.  Hopefully the latter!

The set is looking good – construction is done bar the inevitable little fiddly bits, and painting process well under way.  It will be a bit like a doll’s house effect as the New York theatre opens up cleverly to morph into the Deadrock scenes.  Philip, Marie, JohnK, JohnH & JeanP  have been working hard and now Janet’s GrayTouch is making it come alive.  So looking forward to the finished product.  Oh yes, and you should see Peter Mountain’s car….wow!

So, what other news?  The Annual BLOC bbq in September went well – inside the Grotezaal again as we were expecting torrential rain.  Of course, the sun shone but there was a bit of vindicating drizzle so we did the right thing.  Thank you to all those who brought delicious desserts to compliment the splendid meat and salad main course provided by caterers and thanks to Tony Lowe for serenading us so enjoyably as we socialised.   Thank you to Dennis Elslander for all of this organising and to those who set up and struck the tables and chairs.

Denise Wicken finally had her foot op – hope that continues to heal well.  Janet Gray’s father passed away this summer, as did Mossy Roche’s (SD for Mikado at the Seaside), and most recently Bridget Pierson-Davis’ father.  Our sincere condolences to all the families involved as they grieve.  Janet & Alan Gray welcomed a new grandson into the family.  I attended Diane Gray’s funeral in Alcester on 30th September and although not without tears, it was a joyous celebration of her life and she was buried in some style with a coffin specially customised, her son playing violin to lead her in to her service and the Halleluja Chorus to play her out.

Jeremy Thomas organised a concert in September to raise money for a new roof at St. Anthony’s RC church.  The musical efforts of our talented younger BLOC members – BeatrizF, ZoeS, AlisiaB, MarieR,  RoisinN, ThomasL-N, PierreH, EmanuelleV and Jeremy - with George Rahim at the piano raised €1000 with songs from musicals like Wicked, Beauty & The Beast, Oklahoma, Annie, WOZ, Fiddler on the Roof, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cabaret, LaLaLand, Joseph, LesMiz, Mikado, Threepenny Opera, Porgy & Bess and of course a sneakpeak at CFY.  Check it out on YouTube.  Bravo to all who rehearsed it all one Sunday afternoon and gave polished performances the same evening.  It was such fun (and they were so good!) we may include some of it at the BLOC Xmas Party on 12th December.

Ticket sales for Crazy For You are slower than usual - at time of writing we’re only half full so far - and the committee will review our ticketing system and pricing for the next shows.  So we need to pull out all the stops and sell sell sell to ensure we get those bums on seats – this is an Appeal From The Chair!  Thanks to Marie & Meera who joined me at the ING welcome fair on 8th November where we collected info for our mailing list, networked for the club and hopefully sold quite a few tickets.

You will have heard on the grapevine that it has been decided to do Oklahoma in November 2018 and so the May/June 2018 show will be Urinetown – the Musical directed by Emanuelle Vergier.  This will be a great opportunity to target auditionees and audiences of teens and twentysomethings.   Those who discovered Urinetown a couple of years ago have been hoping to do the entire show:  this is their opportunity!   The Intro Evening is on 5th December at De Kam.  BUT watch this space for more surprises on the spring show….clue: ‘the jury is out’ on this one for now…………..

Hope to see you at Crazy For You and, of course, see you at de Kam!  

Diana x

URINETOWN - INTRODUCTION EVENING

FOR INFORMATION ON BLOC'S SPRING 2018 SHOW COME TO THE INTRODUCTION NIGHT

Tuesday 5 December 2017 at 20h00 
De Kam, 172 Beekstraat, Wezembeek.

For those of you who had not seen it – here are the butties won by BLOC for the 2016-2017 season

WELL DONE TO ALL!!!!

Best Show - A Christmas Carol 

Best Actor - Tony Lowe

Best Set Design and Construction - A Christmas Carol: Philip Deeks, Marie Rousseaux, Janet Gray, Anna Schallenberg

Best Sound - A Christmas Carol: Jeremy Thomas, Andy Fisk

Best Producer - A Christmas Carol: Meera Laurijssen, Martin Blackwell

Successful information evening for Urinetown

On the 5th of December, BLOC held a very well attended information evening for the company's next production: Urinetown!

The production team was introduced, including Stage Director - Emanuelle Vergier, Music Director - Steven De Mesmaeker, Producer - Meera Laurijssen and Assistant Producer - Alexander Just. During the evening Giselle Maksoud - a previous Stage Manager for BLOC productions - volunteered to join the team, and so the production team is now in great form!

Meera ran through some practical details for all.

  • All auditions and rehearsals are planned to take place at
    Community Centre De Kam,
    Beekstraat 172, 1970 Wezembeek-Oppem.
  • Auditions for principal roles will take place on Monday 8 January.
    Chorus auditions will take place on Tuesday 9 January.
    There will be a practice session for those who wish to prepare with the pianist on Sunday 7 January.
    More information about audition times and dates are available on our Urinetown page.
  • As is common with BLOC productions, rehearsals will be held on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
    For Urinetown, the last two Mondays in January will be read-throughs. All principals should attend these sessions, chorus are welcome.
    Through February, principals will have rehearsals on Monday evenings and chorus on Tuesday evenings. From the beginning of March through to the performance season, all cast will be needed at rehearsals on Sunday afternoons.

Emanuelle gave some background information about the musical itself. We watched some clips of other productions, including some of the excerpts performed by BLOC in "BLOC-busters" - May 2016.

Led by Steven and with the able contributions of George Rahim on the piano, everyone had a go at singing the gospel inspired number "Run Freedom Run". This will be the chorus audition number. More specific information and sheet music will be available shortly - and all those who have submitted audition forms will be sent the link. To make sure you don't miss it, fill in your audition form!

December letter from the Chair

BLOC's now taking a break for Christmas and New Year. On behalf of my fellow Committee members - Dennis Alex Tonia Meera Marie Emanuelle - we would like to take this opportunity to wish all BLOC members and their families the compliments of the season and to wish you all safe journeys wherever they may take you til we meet again in January.

We are now a couple of weeks past the last performace of Crazy For You and hopefully you've all had the chance to catch up on sleep. The dynamic dancing was a bit like the BBC's Strictly - to start with one wonders if the steps will be too difficult for the new dancers and by the finale one is marvelling at what great choreographers and a lot of hard work can do to make a dance routine stunning. I think cast and the audiences were blown away by Jean's routines on that clever set. Gershwin's music was a joy to listen to and I still find myself bursting into bits of those songs. So much effort by so many went into the production so a huge thank you to everybody involved in Crazy For You

Thank you to Dennis and Peter deS for organising the BLOC Xmas Party on 12th and to all those who brought delicious food for everybody to consume. The entertainment went down well - a mix of old favourites/a brief showcase for young talent - accompanied by George R at the keyboard and it was a fun evening for everybody to re-connect after CFY and the Urinetown Into Night before we all go our separate ways for the holidays. Sadly Koen and his Mum were not able to join us that night due to a recent family bereavement but perhaps we can give them a real BLOC thank you for all they do for us when we all meet again in the New Year.

So on to the next production. I have to admit my strong reservations about putting on Urinetown in the spring instead of the crowd-pulling Oklahoma! but I was overruled by the committee who feel it's a great idea - hence 'terrific show - terrible title' on the posters. Don't get me wrong, I love the show and its music but I know that although we BLOCers know it, marketing it to those who do not know it will be a challenge. It's true, though, that it's a show to accommodate BLOC membership as it is today -  a lovely range of ages and nationalities - with not just emphasis on singing but on the three disciplines of singing, dance and acting that modern musical theatre demands. There's plenty of scope for our young membership (who of course bring in their friends and families and boost audience numbers). So come and audition in January and be ready to spread the word about how great the show is and get those audiences bursting at the seams in our new De Warandepoort venue in Tervuren. Emanuelle & Steven DeM are bubbling with ideas for the show so I'm coming around to being quite excited at the whole prospect!!

Of course, Marie Rousseaux & Steven DeM are still on board for Oklahoma! which will be performed in the last week of November 2018 at Auderghem. I should like to see some ad hoc workshops on acting, makeup/hair, sewing, dancing in the pipeline for 2018 - even a bit of G&S thrown into the mix - and I shall be discussing this with my Committee in the new year. In fact, BLOC is THE group to belong to - lots to do, lots of friends to be made, and lots of hard work & fun ahead.

So, with that in mind, have a great break and see you all at the practice afternoon at De Kam on Sunday 7th January 2018 when Urinetown the Musical - Audition Process begins.

DIANA

p.s. Some stunning sets have won BLOC a few Butties but where are the set builders of tomorrow? Well, the current builders love what they do but can't/won't do it for ever - they need to pass on their expertise. Do you think you might have what it takes to build a set but think that it's a closed team (which it isn't)? Talk to Marie or Philip or Liam next time you see them and sign up to the the Buttie Best Set Winner of the future.

BLOC Notes December 2017
Urinetown Auditions January 2018

During the second week of January 2018, BLOC held auditions for our upcoming musical production: Urinetown.

From the practice session held on Sunday 7 January, through soloist musical auditions, chorus auditions, and soloist acting callbacks on Sunday 14 January, the production team saw some wonderfully talented people. And it was fabulous to see the diversity of ages and backgrounds represented in our hopeful candidates.

The production team have a hard task ahead of them, picking out a cast from those who auditioned. BLOC members look forward to seeing the cast list, which is due out before the end of the third week of January (pending acceptance by the successful auditionees).

Urinetown Cast - the list is up!

After much consideration, the cast for Urinetown has been finalised. It was a very hard task for the audition panel, given the (large) amount of talent shown at auditions, and the (not so large) size of the stage. There is a huge complexity in putting together a cast of this size. Things like singing and acting ability are obvious, however the panel also need to weigh up a wide range of other factors, such as voice part, stage experience, physical appearance, and much more. For example: a cast made up of performers who were all exactly the same height would look quite odd; or a cast of 40 sopranos and 10 from all other voice parts would not do the show any justice.

For those very talented performers who were not offered a role, we sincerely hope that you will turn your talents and enthusiasm to other roles in the crew, and will bring your performing skills to future auditions.

Now that everyone who auditioned has heard from the audition panel, we can share our cast list with you all. See the "Cast" heading here on our Urinetown page.

Urinetown first rehearsal

On the 23rd of January 2018, BLOC's cast for Urinetown: The Musical gathered at De Kam for the first time, and held a read through of the entire script. 

It was great to hear the script, to get a feel for how the show holds together, how it flows, and what it is really all about. There were lots of laughs from those who heard the jokes for the first time, and a whole lot of clapping along to the toe-tapping tunes.

This show has an amazing cast. For a very first read through, the characterisations and the singing were fantastic. It will be exciting to see where they take the material from here!

January Letter from the Chair

Dear Reader!

BLOC is up and running for 2018. It’s full steam ahead with a full programme.

Most exciting are our plans for Urinetown. There was a marvellous turnout for auditions – 65 people. Emanuelle & Steve didn’t have it easy with casting - and I know it’s a cliché, but they really did have an amazing choice. Imagine having five good, and I mean good tenors – all strong contenders – for the lead rôle? When did THAT last happen? Same for the rôle of Hope – they could have cast it many times over. We are just bursting with talent this spring – and so many young people involved. (We always used to joke about what fun it would be to do West Side Story and then how it would have to be done with zimmer frames. But not any more. No – we’re not doing it yet but just think, now we could! It’s just a thought.) Anyhow, for now we are pulling out all the stops for Urinetown for the end of May and, of course, that crowd-puller with a host of wonderful songs, Oklahoma!, at the end of November.

The key to Urinetown’s success in our new venue, the +360 seat De Warandepoort in the centre of Tervuren, is marketing it to those who don’t know it. It will be a challenge (terrible title, terrific show says it all) but I think with enough of us talking about what fun it is and how great the music is……. we can fill all those seats. Our newish ticketing system helps too – so no more booked seats unpaid for and not collected – you book, you pay – much better. Plus, again, for cast, crew and our 3000-strong mailing list there will be the opportunity once again (for a limited period obviously) to buy Earlybird tickets and with a lot of young people involved there are schools, colleges and unis to target. We’ll be out and about hard selling – maybe even a flashmob or two? The show’s got a global warming/environmental feel about it – always a worthwhile subject to keep in the public eye. We print our programmes on enviroment-friendly recycled paper – another big thank you to Eva for all her hard work on our recent fabulous-looking programmes and Isabel Deneyer for her work on getting so many ads. It’s true that Urinetown accommodates BLOC membership as it is today – a lovely range of ages and nationalities with good singing/dance/acting that modern musical theatre demands. Run Freedom Run raises the roof every time we sing it…..just saying……!

The other bit of breaking news concerns storage. At time of writing the team of Deeks & Rousseaux, setbuilders extraordinaire, are spending all their time in Overijse at Adrien & Fils building wracking & shelving for costumes, set components and props in our new storage space. The move from Shurgard in Machelen happens on 27 & 28 January (contact Tonia or Marie if you can help – there’s an ongoing call for volunteers to help with this) as BLOC was able do get a good rental deal in Overijse. It is a massive job which we hope will provide long term benefits. Philip’s storage design is such that it can be moved, should there be the need, to other spaces. We can’t build sets there but to store everything in one place at last is worth celebrating. Thanks to the teams of movers and builders who are making this happen.

The next Annual General Meeting will happen on Thursday 22nd March. The location is still to be confirmed. All 2018 paid-up members are welcome to hear how the year went and what plans we have for the future. Six members of the current committee are happy to stand for re-election (that’s Dennis, Alex, Tonia, Marie, Emanuelle and me) with Meera stepping down so there will be a vacancy. If you are interested in being one of the seven, please put your name forward – it’s good to have changes and if it comes to some voting, should we be overwhelmed with offers, then that’s all to the good and we’re up for it! The current team is a happy hard working one and let me take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to them and all BLOC helpers, right down to those who lay out the rehearsal room and pack it up. On behalf of the committee, we wish you well for all our upcoming BLOC fun in 2018.

See you at the AGM?
DIANA x

BLOC Notes January 2018
Urinetown - The Musical
Links

The Brussels Light Opera Company is one of many English language theatre groups in Brussels. BLOC members are often to be found watching, supporting or performing in shows by some of these other groups. Find more information on the following websites.

BLOC Notes February 2018
BLOC Notes April 2018
Audition Rules and Policy

Purpose of Auditions: The auditions serve as the basis for casting a show and making the best use of the individuals who audition. Auditions check the quality and range of individuals' voices, their ability to hold a specific voice part when singing in harmony and as appropriate, their ability to dance or to act a given role. Solo and duet/trio auditions include those for specific characters of the show, where acting skills and physical appearance may be proportionally more important than for the chorus.

Eligibility, Time and Place of Auditions: Auditions are open to all BLOC members, and to others interested in taking part in the show, on the condition that they join BLOC if successful. Those wishing to audition are asked to complete and submit the relevant form from the website.

The Auditioning Committee reserves the right to call back individuals for a further audition without inferring that the role has been cast. Also, they reserve the right to audition those people who give notice in writing (by e-mail) of not being able to attend auditions on any of the above mentioned dates so that they may be heard with other auditionees after the introduction evening. Auditionees may only consider that a role has been definitively given to him/her when he/she receives official confirmation of this in writing from the Auditions Committee.

Scope of Auditions: Auditions will be held for all solo, speaking, chorus and dancing parts. The required audition pieces (song(s) and dialogue) and schedule are usually listed on the BLOC website. A practice session in singing the audition pieces and, where applicable, learning a simple dance routine is usually provided on a date between the Introduction Evening and the Audition dates.

Conduct of Auditions: Auditions will take place in front of the Auditioning Committee. Non-auditionees are only allowed in the room at the discretion of the Auditioning Committee. There may be voice warm-ups and possibly some movement to begin with. Those auditioning for principal parts will be asked to present prepared audition pieces including song and dialogue. Those auditioning for chorus will sing the prepared chorus piece in groups of 4 (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). During the auditions, an individual may be asked to sing a solo line or in a smaller group. A photo will be taken to attach to the individual’s audition form.

Auditioning Committee: All casting for the show will be undertaken by the Auditioning Committee composed of the Stage Director, Music Director, Producer(s), Choreographer (if relevant), a neutral member of the BLOC Committee and/or the Chairman of BLOC.

Specific information relating to the auditions of a particular show may be available in a separate document, linked from the webpage for that show.

N.B. Results of Auditions will be notified by email to the address provided on the audition form. No other form of communication should be taken as the official result of an audition, as determined by the Committee.

Make your pitch for a BLOC show in 2019

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR A SHOW?

The dates of performance are end May 2019 at de Bosuil (@ 360 seats) and end November 2019 at the Auderghem Cultural Centre (@660 seats).


BLOC is looking for shows which accommodate a range of ages and nationalities, with good chorus opportunities. The November show invariably has a large cast and should be suitable for family pre-Christmas entertainment, with auditions held in June. The May show can be more edgy, innovative or
just more suitable for a smaller audience, with auditions in January.


Before making a pitch, you must have a team in place (experienced stage director, stage manager, producer, musical director and rehearsal pianist), and know that the rights (if any) are available. Teams on stage and off are volunteers (BLOC only pays its musical director).

There is currently an ad hoc Show Selection Sub Committee chaired by Jeanette Marino, who is updating our Future Shows List but to make things simple, anybody interested should email blocchairman@gmail.com by 31st August 2018 at the latest. Those interested should be ready to make their pitch to the committee mid-September 2018.

Call for Building Space

We need a minimum of 50 square metres with a minimum height of 3.5 metres to build the Oklahoma set. Philip & Marie who are in charge of construction would like to hear from you if you know of such a space which can be made available between September and the end of November 2018.

Of course, ideally we would like to be able to use this space for free but there is a small amount set aside in the budget for a rental fee. If you have ideas, please write to the show email address at blocoklahoma2018@gmail.com.

BLOC Notes May 2018
Evita
Basingstoke & Bust!
BLOC Urinetown features on global ecological website

Prior to the dress rehearsal for Urinetown the Musical, several representatives from BLOC had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Rob Hopkins and Filipa Pimentel from Transition Network.

Transition Network is "a movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world." "It is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. ... [T]hey are reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship, reimagining work, reskilling themselves and weaving webs of connection and support."

Rob and Filipa really enjoyed our show, and they have shared their impressions with the global network of followers. You can read their article on either of the following links:

https://transitionnetwork.org/news-and-blog/a-visit-to-urinetown-no-really/

https://www.robhopkins.net/2018/05/31/a-visit-to-urinetown-no-really/

Oklahoma
Rental of BLOC Assets

The Brussels Light Opera Company (BLOC) has a number of assets acquired over the years - a range of set parts, costumes, properties, keyboards, music stands and lights – which have been acquired over the years, involving both substantial investment, effort and maintenance.

In order to protect these assets and to contribute to their costs, BLOC charges both a rental fee and a deposit against damage for the use of the following either by individuals or by other theatre groups.

Item Rental Charge Deposit
Set parts & workbench By prior negotiation By prior negotiation
Properties & furniture By prior negotiation By prior negotiation
Costumes

10 euro per costume for members

20 euro for non- members

50 euro deposit per costume reimbursable when costume is returned cleaned and in same condition.

Music stands (20) and

music stand lights (20)

25 euro (stands and lights) per day 100 euro against damage and bulb replacement

Please note that the BLOC pianos and synthesizers are not for hire.

For the use of sets and properties: BLOC incurs a monthly rental cost for storage. Individuals and societies requesting use of set parts, furniture or props are required to pay a contribution towards these storage costs, and a contribution towards the depreciation costs of BLOC’s investment.

In addition to the deposit, therefore, the borrower is required to sign an undertaking to reimburse full repair/replacement costs in the event of damage exceeding the amount of the deposit.

BLOC also reserves the right to charge transportation costs where these are incurred. Such transportation costs are intended to cover the fuel expenses of BLOC asset managers in visiting our storage locations or in delivering and collecting items. These fees are reimbursed to the BLOC asset managers. (The normal charge is 10 euro per round trip).

Prior to release of any BLOC asset the renter is required to pay the necessary deposit and to complete the appropriate rental form which must be returned for approval to the BLOC Treasurer Alex Just (treasurer.bloc@proximus.be).

Urinetown - a smash hit!

The Brussels Light Opera Company's production of Urinetown came to De Warandepoort Theatre, Tervuren, just outside of Brussels, from 30 May to 3 June 2018.

Despite some early concerns within the company about being able to sell tickets to an audience who were unaware of the fantastic musical behind the terrible title, our run was a huge success, and several performances were sold out.

The cast and crew pulled it all together, and reviews from the audience came back overwhelmingly positive:

  • "Super show."
  • "Djavan van de Fliert and Zoë Sleath who play the lead characters Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell, are amazing"
  • "Loved it!! Thank you for this fabulous evening."
  • "It was AMAZING! FANTASTIC Show!"

We also featured on The Transition Network website - showing how important the message is behind this show!
https://transitionnetwork.org/news-and-blog/a-visit-to-urinetown-no-really/

 

Oklahoma - a brand new production!

On Tuesday the 5th of June, barely having caught our breath after the final performance of Urinetown, BLOC members threw themselves back into the fray, with our introduction and chorus practice session for our November 2018 production, Oklahoma!

Oklahoma tells the story of farm girl Laurey Williams and her courtship by two rival suitors, cowboy Curly McLain and the sinister and frightening farmhand Jud Fry. The original 1943 Broadway production was a box-office smash which later enjoyed award-winning revivals, national tours, foreign productions and an Academy Award-winning 1955 film adaptation. 

BLOCs production will have the following creative team: 

  • Stage director: Marie Sophie Rousseaux
  • Music director: Steven De Mesmaeker
  • Choreography: Jean Emmett

Our information evening was a crowded affair, with more than 120 people present! It looks like our auditions panel will have their work cut out for them.

If you are interested in auditioning:

** Please note that all those who wish to be in the show - in ANY onstage role - are required to attend the Chorus Auditions. **

  • Chorus Auditions:
    Sunday 10th June 2018, 14h – 18h (From 14:00 to 15:00 we will practise the audition piece/s. Auditions will start from 15:00.)

  • Soloist Pre-Audition Practice:
    Monday 11th June 2018, 20h – 22h

  • Soloist Auditions:
    Tuesday 12th June 2018, 20h – 22h

  • Call backs if required:
    Monday 18th June 2018, 20h – 22h

Audition material is available upon request by email to: blocoklahoma2018  @  gmail.com (remove spaces).
Please let us know if you wish to see the chorus material, or specify which principle roles you wish to see.

 

Photo credits: Eva Konrad

Urinetown - The Musical
Urinetown - The Musical

Music and lyrics by Mark Hollman.
Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis.

Urinetown parodies the modern musical form, and satirizes many social issues that are highly relevant today, including capitalism and bureaucracy, environmental mismanagement and social (ir-)responsibility. This has made it a favourite for amateur productions around the world.

Modeled off the plays of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and spoofing songs from musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, Evita, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls and Les Miserables, it is a wickedly funny, fast-paced, and surprisingly intelligent comedic romp.

Urinetown debuted at the New York International Fringe Festival in 1999, and was produced Off-Broadway in 2001. The musical then moved to Broadway where it was performed from 2001 to 2004. Urinetown was nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 2002 and won three: Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Direction of a Musical.

Professional international productions have included the UK, Australia and Brazil.

Send In The Chorus
BLOC future productions questionnaire

The BLOC committee has asked a small working group to look into possible shows for BLOC to perform in the future.

In order to get more of an understanding of what the members of BLOC would like to perform in the future, we have designed this questionnaire.

We hope you have fun filling it in for us, and we can't wait to read about your ideas!

 

The BLOC working group for potential future shows,
Jeanette Marino
Steven De Mesmaeker
Vivienne McKay
Tonia Jolly
Helen Krabb

Crazy For You
Crazy for You

Crazy for You is a romantic comedy musical with a book by Ken Ludwig, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and music by George Gershwin. Billed as "The New Gershwin Musical Comedy", it is largely based on the songwriting team’s 1930 musical, Girl Crazy, but incorporates songs from several other productions as well. Crazy for You won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Musical. In 2011, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre did a revival of Crazy for You as part of the 2011 Summer Season. The show charts the troubled love story of Bobby, son of a wealthy New York banking family and frustrated Broadway hoofer, and Polly, daughter of the proprietor of a failing theatre in Deadrock, Nevada. Sent to close the theatre down, Bobby falls for Polly and, in the guise of Zangler, a Hungarian impresario, decides to save the theatre by putting on a show. Mistaken identities, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes, including I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Embraceable You all feature in this exhilarating celebration of the great Broadway musicals.

Voting for the BUTT Awards - Want to know more?!

If you have been in a show (cast or crew) with BLOC between September 2017 and June 2018, you are eligible to vote for the Brussels United Theatre Technicians present the BUTT Awards 2018.

What? How? When?
What: if you have been in or seen a show that took place during this year's theatre season in Brussels and surroundings, you are eligible to vote.
How: by following this link: https://goo.gl/forms/R6OlsX9BSmUiaWhF3
When: from now on to the evening of July 3rd

If you feel like it, you can even attend the awards ceremony, afterwards. It takes place on Saturday 7th July. Details on the website (see above)

The Three Penny Opera
BLOC Notes June 2018
Contrasts
Beauty and the Beast
Send In The Chorus
Guys & Dolls
Pirates of Penzance (2009)
Crazy For The Music
Crazy For The Music
Pirates of Penzance (2009)
Fiddler On The Roof
Fiddler On The Roof
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
BLOC On Broadway 3
BLOC On Broadway 3
The Mikado Goes to the Seaside
The Mikado Goes to the Seaside
BLOC On Broadway 4
BLOC On Broadway 4
Guys and Dolls
Hello Dolly!
HMS Pinafore (2017)
HMS Pinafore
First Rehearsals for Oklahoma

"They couldn't pick a better time to start in life
It ain't too early and it ain't too late"

This week BLOC kicked off our autumn 2018 season with the first rehearsals for Oklahoma!

The principals met on Monday, and on Tuesday the whole cast. With such a large cast, the enthusiasm was palpable as we tried to lift the rafters in De Kam, with our first focus on the wonderful rousing title song "Oklahoma!".

Keep an eye on this space, and we will let you know when tickets sales are open.

BLOC bbq September 2018

Today, Sunday 9 September, BLOC held our annual late summer barbeque. It was a lovely sunny afternoon in the courtyard of De Kam. There was loads of yummy food, and much great company. There was singing and speeches (pleasantly concise!). It was a fun opportunity for all to catch up after the summer, and we can't wait to get started with rehearsals for our next production.

BLOC actor wins Best Newcomer in 2018 BUTTies Awards

The Brussels United Theatre Technicians (BUTT) held their annual awards ceremony on the 7th of July 2018. The "Butties" celebrate and reward excellence in those who have worked on any shows put on by the English language amateur theatre companies around Brussels in the last season (2017-2018). 


Congratulations to Djavan Van de Fliert for getting the Butt Newcomer Award as Bobby Strong in BLOC's production of Urinetown - The Musical. 
 

BLOC Notes September 2018
BLOC Notes November 2018
Oklahoma!
Oklahoma
A brand new state,
Where cowboys and farmers should be friends,
Where territory folks should stick together,
Where a beautiful morning is the start of a new romance,
Where loneliness is scary and fatal,
Where a girl who can’t say “No” could get into trouble,
Where a peddler’s smooth talk might get him trapped …


The iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein score of Oklahoma! inspired a new generation of Broadway musicals, pushing the boundaries of the genre and when it opened on Broadway in 1943, it changed the way modern audiences would appreciate musicals for the next 50 years. The show ran for an impressive five years and was immortalized by a Hollywood film version. The state of Oklahoma even took the title song to be the official anthem of the state, solidifying the show’s cultural impact.

The Brussels Light Opera Company production of Oklahoma will run for five performances, from 22 to 25 November 2018.

If you wish to contact us regarding this production, please use the following email: blocoklahoma2018@gmail.com.

Oklahoma Photos Now Online!

The photo gallery of our last show is now online.

You will find them under the menu "Productions". Just hoover over "Past Productions", choose "Gallery" and then Oklahoma!

The Sorcerer
Tickets available

Tickets are now available for our November 2018 production, Oklahoma!

 

Book yours here!

Early bird prices available until 9 October 2018.

Oklahoma tickets selling fast...

BLOC's majestic new production of Oklahoma is in it's final rehearsals, the sets are primed, the costumes getting their final tweaks. There are still some seats left, so if you plan on coming, get your tickets now!

Any remaining tickets will be available at the door, however online tickets are available until 09:00am the day of the performance, and it's cheaper to buy online in advance.

Tickets available here

Information evening for BLOC's spring 2019 production: The Sorcerer

On Tuesday 11 December, BLOC held their Information Evening for our spring production 2019: Gilbert and Sullivan's (G&S) "The Sorcerer".  The show will be performed 5 times at De Bosuil, from 23 - 26 May 2019.  Our co-Directors (Angela and Tony Lowe) introduced the Production Team, which includes many of BLOC's experienced and dedicated members, and put on a slick presentation of information mixed with entertainment.  Our Music Director (Lionel Bams) taught us the Chorus audition piece with great enthusiasm.

  • The Sorcerer is the third of G&S's operettas. It was first performed in 1877, then revised in 1884. It is this revised version we will perform.
  • Very short synopsis: The young Alexis Pointdextre is betrothed to Aline. He is in love with the idea of being in love, and wants to share his conviction that love levels all ranks and social distinctions. He hires a Sorcerer to add a love-potion to the tea which is served to all the villagers at his engagement party.  This leads to a lot of comical mis-matches!  How will the Sorcerer resolve this dilemma?
    • Cast
      • There is a large amount of chorus performance in this show, and some beautiful soloist songs. 
      • The cast will include people of all ages - the age spread of a typical English village. We anticipate having approximately 45 people on stage including the 9 principals.
    • Audition procedures
      • Everything you need to know to enable you to audition, as well as information on the characters, is available in the Audition Information Pack. To receive the audition pack, please email blocsorcerer2019@gmail.com.
        • Please note that anyone wishing to audition must register in advance! The cut-off date is 3 days before the audition and late applications cannot be accepted.
      • All auditions will be open auditions. No-one outside the auditioning process will be allowed to observe. 
      • Chorus auditions will be in groups of four - in voice-parts soprano, alto, tenor and bass.
      • Everyone auditioning will be required to stay for the whole audition session. Even if you have presented before the auditioning panel, you need to stay in case you are required again.
      • All auditionees will be photographed. 
      • Note that we will not be using body mikes so, at the auditions, the directors will be looking for good projection and, as with all G&S, good diction.
    • Rehearsal structure
      • The first 6 weeks or so will be choral rehearsals - straight music. 
      • When blocking starts around the time of the first Sunday rehearsal on 3 March, knowledge of the music should be solid.
      • Monday evenings will be mostly for selected principals.
      • Tuesday evenings will be mostly for selected principals and chorus.
      • Sunday afternoons may require anyone from the cast.
    • Score/libretto
      • We will be using the original score, uncut. 
      • BLOC's vocal scores are available for loan (against a deposit).  Libretti will be available for soloists.
      • The material is also available online and can, should you so wish, be downloaded and printed, or used on your tablet.
    • Offstage team
      • If you are interested in getting involved in this production in any off-stage role, please get in touch!  As always, it is going to take a team of people to put on this show, and all enthusiasm is greatly appreciated!

    Just to repeat the key information:

    Everything you need to know about the audition procedure and the casting is available in the audition pack. To receive the audition pack, please email blocsorcerer2019 et gmail.com.

    Please note that anyone wishing to audition must register in advance! The cut-off date is 3 days before the audition and late applications cannot be accepted.
    New Season

    A very happy and healthy 2019 for all BLOC members and friends! May 2019 be an excellent year.

    Our new season has started, yesterday, with the practice evening for aspiring soloists for The Sorcerer. Thanks to everyone involved for making it such fun evening. It never stops to amaze me what a lot talent there is in BLOC!

    In this context Stage Directors, Angela and Tony Lowe, would like to remind all BLOC members and friends that the Auditions for The Sorcerer will be taking place this coming Sunday (13th January) for Soloists and the following Sunday (20th January) for Chorus.

    Details can be obtained by sending an email to

    blocsorcerer2019@gmail.com

    and requesting the Audition Information Pack.

    Everybody Welcome!

    Barbara

     

    BLOC Costume Ladies In The Process Of Making It Big

    Our astonishing costume team starts to get noticed outside BLOC!

    They have made it to the front page of Uitgekamd, the De Kam March 2019 newsletter that has just been published.

    Thank you ladies!  Splendid work and excellent publicity for yourself, BLOC and our next show, The Sorcerer.

    Tickets for our next show

    Thank you very much for your interest in our next show!

    Our ticket shop is not yet open. We plan to open on 10th March 2019.

    If you would like to receive a notification as soon as the shop is online, please send an email to:

    blocsorcerer2019(usual sign)gmail.com

    BLOC Notes January 2019
    Who's who

    The BLOC Committee for 2019-2020 was elected at the AGM held on 28 March 2019. Our current committee members are:

    Chair: Tony Lowe
    Treasurer: Alex Just
    Secretary: Barbara Bauer
    Members:

    Dennis Elslander
    Marie Rousseaux
    Emanuelle Vergier
    Helen Krabb

    If you wish to get in contact with any of the committee members, please see our Contact page.

    Other BLOC members who fulfil non-elected roles in the Company include:

    BLOC-Notes Editor: Dennis Elslander
    Librarian/Archivist: Barbara Bauer
    Costumes Manager: Tonia Jolly
    Props Master: Lawrence Kelly
    Set Managers: Marie Rousseaux and Philip Deeks
    Thank you Diana!

    Chairman for the last 4 years, Diana has managed to keep the standards of management and show performance at an all-time high.

    Thank you, Diana for your sterling service for BLOC over the years!

     

    BLOC's Autumn show has been announced

    Kiss Me Kate - 21-24 November 2019

    This Autumn BLOC will be performing Kiss Me Kate, written by Samuel and Bella Spewack with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

    You can find more details here.

    Kiss Me Kate - 21-24 November 2019

    This Autumn BLOC will be performing Kiss Me Kate, written by Samuel and Bella Spewack with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

    There will be an introduction evening to the show on Tuesday, 28th May 2019 at 20.00, during which you will also be taught the chorus audition song.

    Chorus auditions will be held on Sunday, 2nd June 2019 at 14.00 and soloist auditions on Tuesday, 4rd June 2019 at 20.00.

    To be able to audition, you need to formally register. In order to find out, how to do this, as well as what will be required during the auditions, please send an email to BLOCKMK2019@gmail.com. Deadline for registration for both auditions is midnight, 30th May 2019.

    For soloists who would like some help in preparing their audition piece, there is an (optional) practice session on Monday, 3rd June 2019 at 20.00.

    All four events will be held at De Kam Cultural Center,  172 Beekstraat, 1970 Wezembeek Oppem.

     

    Kiss Me Kate 2019
    Past Productions

    2006

    Anything Goes
    Olde Tyme Music Hall

    2005

    A String of Pearls
    A Disagreeable Man (Guest Performance)
    As Time goes by
    The Merry Widow

    2004

    Bloc on Broadway 2!
    Chorus First- The Encore
    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

    2003

    Chorus First!
    Bloc on Broadway
    The Gondoliers

    2002

    A Night at the Barn
    The Zoo/L'Isle de Tulipatan

    2001

    Mr Choufleuri Restera Chez Lui/Trial by Jury
    Kismet

    2000

    Rock Whittington
    Jazz Cabaret
    The Gipsy Princess

    1999

    HMS Pinafore
    ATC Café Theatre
    HMS Pinafore at the International G&S Festival, Buxton

    1998

    Oklahoma
    G&S Gala Concert
    Swinging Sixties

    1997

    La Vie Parisienne
    June Cabaret

    1996

    The Pirates of Penzanc
    The Roaring Twenties

    1995

    Die Fledermaus
    Wartime Memories (Forties Evening)

    1994

    Concert of G&S with the Brussels Choral Society
    Anything Goes!

    1993

    Carousel
    The Mikado

    1992

    The Gypsy Baron

    1991

    Trial by Jury/HMS Pinafore (last shows as Brussels G&S Society)
    The Merry Widow

    1990

    Iolanthe

    1989

    A Song to Sing, O! (Concert of G&S and Offenbach with Thalia Opera Company, NL)
    Orpheus in the Underworld

    1988

    The Yeomen of the Guard

    1987

    Cox & Box/Music Hall
    Ruddigore

    1986

    Merrie England
    An Evening with the Stars (Gala concert with former D'Oyly Carte soloists)
    The Gondoliers

    1985

    Tenth Anniversary Gala Concert
    Trial by Jury (FEATS Festival Preview)
    The Mikado

    1984

    The Pirates of Penzance
    Patience

    1983

    The Sorcerer
    Utopia Ltd (Concert version), Old Tyme Music Hall

    1982

    The Grand Duke (concert version)
    HMS Pinafore
    The Gipsy Princess (concert version) /G&S extracts

    1981

    Songs & Snatches - An Evening of G&S Curiosities
    Princess Ida
    La Vie Parisienne

    1980

    Iolanthe
    Orpheus in the Underworld
    G&S Gala Night

    1979

    Ruddigore
    Patience (concert version), Old Tyme Music Hall

    1978

    The Gondoliers
    Cox & Box/G&S à la Carte

    1977

    The Yeomen of the Guard
    Concert: Songs & Scenes from the Savoy Operas
    Trial by Jury (Queen's Silver Jubilee Gala)

    1976

    The Mikado
    Concert: Musical Theatre through the Years

    1975

    Concert: G&S Selections
    Trial by Jury

    BLOCNotes September 2019
    BLOCNotes - October 2019
    Members Events

    Click through here for information about members' events.

    BLOC Notes November 2019
    BLOC Christmas Party and Kiss Me, Kate Aftershow Party 2019

    The Sorcerer
    Kiss Me , Kate
    The Sorcerer

    The Sorcerer - An Original Modern Comic Opera
    by W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan

    This family-friendly show will charm and delight you, and its magical melodies will leave you spellbound!

    Live Orchestra!

    Early Birds tickets until 24.3.2019!
    Book early to avoid disappointment!

    Thursday, 23.5.2019, 20:00
    Friday, 24.5.2019, 20:00
    Saturday, 25.5.2019, 14:30 & 20:00
    Sunday, 26.5.2019, 14:30

    at De Bosuil Cultural Centre in Overijse.

    AF Materials

    Below are files that serve to prepare the music rehearsals. Some of the files may not play straight from the web and you will get an error message. In that case, left-click in order to download and open the file on your computer. The SW installed on your computer will then do its job.

    You will find:

    • Dance videos
    • Rehearsal tapes
    Kiss Me Kate

    It’s Baltimore.  It’s 1950.  We’re in the middle of warm ups for the opening night of a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Taming of the Shrew directed by Fred Graham, the egotistical leading man playing Petruchio to his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi’s portrayal of Katherine the Shrew.  Onstage and off it becomes clear that, as much as this couple profess to hate each other, they are also still in love. Alongside their bickering liaison, the show’s supporting actress, Lois Lane, is supporting her gambling boyfriend, Bill, as he attempts to evade the clutches of two local gangsters. Add mistaken identity, the mob, and comedic routines into the mix and you get Cole Porter’s smash hit Kiss Me Kate.

    BLOC Notes November 2019
    Test - Tickets for our next show

    Test - test - test

    Thank you very much for your interest in our next show!

    Our ticket shop is not yet open. We plan to open on 10th March 2019.

    If you would like to receive a notification as soon as the shop is online, please send an email to:

    blocsorcerer2019(usual sign)gmail.com

    The Adam's Family

    Yesterday evening, BLOC has held its introduction evening for its next show, The Addams Family.

    Thank you very much for all your interest and the huge turnout.

    Audition registration will close on the 10th January 2020.

    BLOC AGM - Save the date

    This year's AGM will be held at De Kam Cultural Centre in Wezembeek-Oppem on Thursday, 26th March 2020.

     

    If you feel like standing for a position on the Committee, you have to be a paid up member and send the nomination document our chairman, Tony Lowe by 31st January 2020, 23.59.

    New Year Wishes

    Dear members of BLOC,
    Dear friends of BLOC,

    May we take this opportunity to wish you all a successful and prosperous 2020! We hope you had a calm period between the years and that you are raring to open our new season!

    Yours,

    The Brussels light Opera Company
     

    Addams Family - The first round of auditions has taken place

    The auditions for BLOC next show have started.

    Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to register.

    If you are interested to support BLOC in any way, backstage or front of house, now is the time to come forward.

    You find the email to contact the production website.

    Thank you!

    A very big thank you to all those who came out for auditions for the Addams Family. In the end we had almost 100 candidates for our initial (watch that space) cast of 40. It was such a great sounding chorus on practice nights – so sad we can’t take all of you. So many talented, funny, warm renditions for our solos. And a very big bravo to our younger candidates who had to brave the very scary audition process. The audition committee will be deciding soon – wish us luck!!!!

    Cast Announcement

    The Audition Panel has had a tough time choosing a cast from the numerous great auditions we saw and heard from so many very talented people. In the end the panel were thrilled with the group who came closest to the vision of our Stage and Musical directors.

    We are happy to present the cast of BLOC’s spring show of the Addams Family, the Musical.

    Principals
    Lisa Armetta – Grandma
    John Baldwin – Gomez
    PJ Brady – Lurch
    Josephine Draycott - Morticia
    Xavier Gascuel – Lucas
    Alan Gray – Mal
    Lya Luca - Wednesday
    Stéphanie Mareschal - Alice
    Josh Rogers – Fester
    Luc Townend – Pugsley

     

    Chorus
    Abigail Prisk, Alex Just, Alfonso Ribot, Alison Copner, Andrea Gonzalez, Andreas Heyerick, Cedric Meijerink, Christine Vedrin, Constança Ferraz, Danielle Tylke, Dennis Elslander, Diane Ntahimpera, Eliza Popper, Filipa Ferraz, Gibran Sanchez, Giulia Quarta, Ian Caisse, Isabelle Deneyer, Ivana Skabrina, Jasmine Daenen, Jeanette Marino, Jenny Fischer, Jeremy Thomas, Jessica Lovett, Jessica Petter, John Morales, Jonathan Oakey, Julia Just, Konstantin Woebking, Lara van der Wiel, Lluis Bronsoms, Marii Valjataga, Marjut Leskinen, Mel Ciriaco, Olivia Townend, Oscar Thomas, Owen Thompson, Roderik von Campenhausen, Sari Saarenpaa, Sofia Tolkmitt, Sophie Caisse, Sibylle Braun, Thomas Landsbert-Noon, Vratko Jaron-Kohari, Wivica Stagell, Xavier Diez

    The Addams Family - Box Office
    The Addams Family

    Buh da da dum (snap snap)

    Come enjoy an original modern musical embracing the craziness in every family.

    This story is every parent’s nightmare: Wednesday Addams, princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a young man from a “very normal” family, who her parents have never met. This hilarious show will turn “one normal night” into the chaos of “full disclosures” game.. 

    The Addams Family
    About BLOC

    Brussels Light Opera Company is the largest amateur musical theatre company in Brussels and performs principally in English. It comprises over 200 members from 22 nations, encompassing a broad spectrum of cultures, ages and professions, who all share a love of musical theatre and who work together as amateurs to achieve high-quality productions as well as enjoy varied social activities.

    Each year BLOC puts on at least two shows. The show performed in May or June auditions in January, rehearses on Monday and Tuesday evenings through the spring (adding in Sunday afternoons in the month before the show) and plays with a small band or orchestra to a 300 to 400-seater theatre for five performances. The show performed in November auditions in June (immediately after the spring show), and rehearses on Monday & Tuesday evenings from September onwards (adding in Sunday afternoons as the rehearsal process gathers momentum), culminating in five performances with full orchestra in a 650-seater theatre.

    BLOC welcomes all newcomers. To perform in a show it is obligatory to audition for principal roles and for chorus. Formal musical training is not obligatory but reading music really does help during auditions and rehearsals. Nobody is paid save the Musical Director, Choreographer and orchestra members.

    Non-singing members are very welcome as willing hands are always needed backstage or to help with administration. To stage any musical a small army of people is needed both before the show and backstage during the show. A production team is needed to give technical and administrative help both pre-show and backstage so many different skills are needed: carpentry, painting, costume designing and making, makeup and hairstyling, poster and programme design, making props, stage managing, sound, lighting…..the list is endless and if you haven’t tackled any of these before there are many on hand to teach and encourage. There’s something for everyone - it’s hard work but lots of fun.

    The club holds an Annual General Meeting in March each year where the events of the year are documented and when members can air their views about how the club is run. The committee comprises an Honorary Chairman, Honorary Secretary and an Honorary Treasurer plus four more ordinary members. These officers of the club put themselves forward or are nominated each year and serve for that year, until the next Annual General Meeting (Or Extraordinary General Meeting). There is no fixed term of office.

    BLOC’s social life includes barbecues, themed events, but most of all it involves companionship during or after rehearsal, and challenges in planning and running productions. Prospective members are always welcome to come and observe BLOC in action at our rehearsal home of De Kam in Wezembeek, so to find out more please contact one of the committee members - their email addresses are published on the BLOC website. BLOC is always looking for new members so if you think you might be interested, get in touch!

    Andrà tutto bene!

    In accordance with the government guidelines on COVID-19, all BLOC activities have ceased, up to and including 3rd April 2020. The Committee is constantly monitoring the situation, and will update you with any further information as soon as we receive it.

    The AGM, planned for 26th March, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, 28th April at 19:00, subject to confirmation.

    Hope to see you all soon. Until then, don’t let the situation stop you singing.

    Stay healthy and safe!

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    BLOC in general collects personal data in order to:

    - keep track of its membership and insuring its members
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