I hope this newsletter finds you well and happy.
2017 feels like a rollercoaster year in several ways. I’m not happy with the Brexit situation, because I have no doubt that it will have an impact on the ability of performing artists to move around freely and work across European borders. I have to admit that I was happy with the hung parliament outcome of the last general election. I don’t think any UK political party is fit for purpose at present. The politicians have let the electorate down, due to their preoccupation with navel gazing.
On the day of the elections, I was in Brussels, of all places. I contributed to a panel discussion in a symposium convened by the architect-artist Ola-Dele Kuku at the BOZAR Centre – Belgium’s leading centre for contemporary arts. Focusing mainly on the restoration of historic public buildings and monuments in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in the aftermath of all the turmoil that has ravaged that nation for many years, the event was highly stimulating and I met several new comrades whom I look forward to working with in the future.
More recently, I’ve been involved in leading a creative learning project for Alexandra Palace’s Learning and Participation Department, inspired by the Royal Opera’s production of Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, which was screened from a live performance at Alexandra Palace, along with several venues around England.
I worked with youngsters and teachers from three local secondary schools on the project and it was a rewarding experience. Alexandra Palace’s Marketing Department made a short film about the process, which was presented to the audience before the Royal Opera’s live streamed screening of Turandot, featuring Roberto Alagna performing the role of Calaf – the unknown heroic prince who sings the aria “Nessun Dorma” – made globally famous by Luciano Pavarotti.
You can see the Alexandra Palace short film on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98gV0DNr6VQ
In early August, I am going to run a music workshop with children affected by the Grenfell tragedy. Then I’ll be wood shedding and preparing for a busy autumn. I’ll tell you more details very soon.
If you’re not connected to me on any social media platform, I would like to let you know about my daily blog articles on my website at www.juwonogungbe.com ; They are easy to read and not too long, I’ve been told.
You can find my most recent single “My Love” and my album “Life Force Music” on the following iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1194781567?ls=1&app=itunes
You can connect with me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@jimvon
On Instagram at www.instagram.com/oyejuwon
And on Facebook as Juwon Ogungbe.
Bye for now.