Brussels Light Opera Company

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?