Laura Attridge is a dynamic young maker of opera and theatre, with a passion for collaborative creative work and an artistic vision which aims to balance integrity and innovation. She is the founder and Artistic Director of And So Forth (ASF), a company dedicated to interdisciplinary exploration and the facilitation of dialogue between the very best emerging artists in opera and theatre. Laura directed and co-wrote ASF’s inaugural production, Damsel/Wife/Witch, a piece challenging contemporary gender expectations through fairy tale, for two actors and a mezzo-soprano; other work with the company has included the hosting of Q&As with established artists, and the curation of a series of development workshops for performers.
Laura has directed new pieces of theatre at venues including the Southwark Playhouse, Arts Theatre, Tristan Bates Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre and Etcetera Theatre. Her opera direction to date includes two France/UK tours for Opera Loki (Così fan tutte, 2016; La Bohème, 2015), and this autumn she joins Hampstead Garden Opera as director of their production of Jonathan Dove’s The Enchanted Pig at Jacksons Lane. Laura has been an assistant director for companies such as English Touring Opera, Opera Holland Park, Blackheath Halls Opera, British Youth Opera and the Royal Academy of Music, as well as Associate Director for W11 Opera. This summer she will be staff director for the revival of Tom Cairns’ elegant production of La Traviata at Glyndebourne.
As comfortable in a workshop as in a rehearsal, Laura is also in demand as a facilitator and leader for a whole range of different projects. Work to date with children and young people has included projects with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, W11 Opera and Blackheath Halls Opera; most recently, she has led workshop days for Glyndebourne Youth Opera, and is now looking forward to working with RAW Voices Academy this summer. Earlier this year, she oversaw the creation and implementation of a pilot series of workshops for her own company, ASF, offering unique development sessions for professional performers in areas not readily available elsewhere. Furthermore, as a creative facilitator, Laura has led devising workshops for companies like The Pensive Federation, to make new work for the stage.
As a writer, Laura has had poetry published in prestigious magazines and zines including The Rialto and Mslexia, and was recently in residence at the Tate Modern Exchange with Arvon, creating new writing in response to visual art. Her song cycles have been premiered at Glyndebourne, the Royal College of Music (RCM), the National Gallery and Bard College (New York). With First Class Honours in English Literature from Newcastle University and postgraduate training in Vocal Studies from the RCM, her love of the relationship between words and music has led to many fruitful collaborations with composers. Notably, Laura’s ongoing creative partnership with composer Lewis Murphy has thus far produced numerous works for the stage: Now (2014, RCM and Tête-à-Tête Festival), Damsel/Wife/Witch (2015, ASF), and Belongings (premiering 2017, Glyndebourne). Laura and Lewis are now working on a new commission from Scottish Opera for 2018, entitled Then to the elements. Other upcoming writing projects for Laura include a commission from the Helios Collective and Hampshire Cultural Trust for a new interdisciplinary piece about the life of Jane Austen, set to premiere at the Grange Festival later this year.
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Photo credit: Sarah Raymond Photography.