Baroque Around the Block

Directed for Armonico Consort

Cast : Shaun Prendergast, Nicholas Khan, Eloise Irving, Claire Davies, Ben Thapa, John Evanson, Joe Bolger

Creative Team

Directed and devised  by Eliot Giuralarocca

Musical Director Christopher Monks

Designer - Victoria Spearing

Script - Stewart Collins

Lighting Design - Graham McLusky

Costume Design - Gillian Malster

CSM - Sarah Yelland

SM - Claire Childs

Following the huge success stories for Armonico Consort with Too Hot to Handel and Monteverdi's Flying Circus, Baroque around the Block continued to explore new and imaginative ways in which to bring the music of the baroque period to life for a 21st Century audience. 

It told the tale of some of the lesser known facts that lay behind some of the greatest moments of Baroque opera and oratorio, and made a few up along the way! Or to put it another way, it was a pack of lies with a little bit of truth squeezed in. Featuring some of the finest music of Purcell, Bach, Handel, Gesualdo and Vivaldi the show was half Opera and half vaudeville, with a dose of Panto, slapstick and some cracking jokes thrown in for good measure. A thetrical and musical feast for the senses!

Director's Programme note

How to make a Baroque Opera

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

2 sopranos

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 counter tenor

1 normal tenor

1 cup brown sugar

lemon juice

1 barritone or bass or anyone with a deep voice

some nuts

2 well seasoned actors

1 dash of garlic

1 writer

1 gallon whisky

1 musical director (to carry the bowl or the can if neccessary)

Sample the whisky to check for quality.

Take a large bowl.

Check the whisky again to be sure it is of the highest quality.

Pour in one level cup and drink.

Repeat. A fair few times.

Turn on the electric mixer;

Beat 1 soprano in butter in a large, fluffy bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon sugar and the second soprano and beat again.

Make sure the whisky is still OK.

Cry another cup.

Turn off mixer.

Break 2 legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the two actors.

Mix on the turner.

Add lots of colour. 

If the actors gets stuck in the beaterers, pry them loose with a



Listen to some Bach.

Listen to some Vivaldi to try and cheer yourself up 

Sample the whisky again. Just to be sure.

Sift 2 cups of salt. Or something. Who cares?

At this stage add in the bass, barritone and countertenor in whatever order. It doesn't really matter.

Check the whisky.

Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table. Spoon. Or sugar or something. Whatever you can find. 

If you can find a writer throw him into the mix as well. For God's sake.

Grease the oven.

Up the tempo.

Whose idea was this?

Order a Taxi

Turn the rehearsal room to 350 degrees.

Sift everything through a large cartoon sieve

Leave to set for 3 weeks and hope for the breast

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Pick the bowl up by the Handel

Throw the bowl out of the window.

Go Bach and check the whisky again.

Go to bed.

Deny all knowledge.

Press Reviews 

Baroque Around the Block is quite simply wonderfully entertaining! It tells the tale of some of the lesser known facts that lay behind some of the greatest moments of Baroque opera and oratorio, and makes a few up along the way...This is Opera’s answer to Horrible Histories! 

Leamington Courier

Eliot Giuralarocca's production delivered a full house and a brilliant show, full of knock about fun and bringing together a superb team. 

What's On Stage