Green Room to tour Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World
Throughout June 2013, Green Room will tour its third production to churches across Scotland: Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a new World. Directed by Michael Richardson and musically directed by Neil Metcalfe, Jason Robert Brown’s first produced show sits on the boundary between musical theatre and song cycle but is neither. Rather it is an abstract musical, a series of songs connected by a theme: “the moment of decision”. JRB has himself said:- “It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.” More significantly, it’s about the influences on each of our lives that guide us to making those decisions, be they good or bad.
Perhaps because of its unconventional format, the critical response to the piece at its premiere in 1995 was mixed. Despite these mixed reviews, the piece has become a popular favourite with performers and audiences alike.
Green Room is no stranger to JRB’s work, nor to his interesting approach to theatrical conventions, having previously staged his iconic The Last Five Years. With this, their inaugural production, they aim to set a benchmark for the kind of work they will do.
7th and 8th June, 7.30pm, Edinburgh
St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, George Street
16th June, 4.00pm, Haddington
St Mary’s Church, Sidegate, Haddington
Green Room was created in 2011 by Neil Metcalfe and Michael Richardson with the following key aims:
· To use a broad definition of the term musical theatre, to include all forms of story-telling that use music to communicate with our audience;
· To create high quality, innovative and intensely theatrical productions using a diverse range of dramatic forms;
· To work with, support and nurture young singing actors;
· To tour widely throughout Scotland, the UK and internationally.
To date Green Room has toured Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years to Edinburgh, Birnam and Aberdeen in 2011, and subsequently revived it in the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe; and produced the Scottish premiere of Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days in 2012.
Michael Richardson studied at The University of Edinburgh where he directed a broad range of opera and musical theatre before training as a stage director at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Subsequently he worked as a staff director for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Opera Box, City of Birmingham Touring Opera and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
In opera education Michael has devised and lead projects for Glyndebourne, Mid Wales Opera, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Caledonia and the Usher Hall. In youth theatre he has been Artistic Director of Shrewsbury Youth Theatre, macYT in Birmingham, and Firefly Arts in Scotland.
More recently Michael returned to his musical theatre roots, directing productions for Edinburgh Music Theatre, Theatre South Productions, Edinburgh Studio Opera and Edinburgh Grand Opera.
Neil Metcalfe read music at The University of Edinburgh before taking up a scholarship at the Opera School of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he trained as a repetiteur, vocal coach, pianist and conductor.
After some time on the music staff of Scottish Opera he began a freelance career which has taken him to opera houses in Australia, Germany, the United States and Northern Ireland. He has also worked with a number of touring companies including Bolshoi Opera, Kirov Opera, Catalan National Theatre and Deutsche Oper am Rhein. As a performer he has appeared in venues as far afield as Greenland and Australia and in a wide number of genres from musical theatre to chamber music. He has recorded for the BBC and on the Linn Records label.
Neil has held the post of Musical Director for a number of companies including Edinburgh Music Theatre, Edinburgh Grand Opera, Edinburgh University Chorus, The Maltings Theatre and Balerno Theatre Company.