Friday, November 27, 2009

British Youth Opera Rake's Progress review at

Here's another review of my recent BYO production of Rake's Progress from Adam Highbury of

  • Opera Talent Review of BYO Rake's Progress
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    New York November....

    Greetings from New York City!

    I'm out here for a whirlwind week of meetings to plan, with my designer, the super-talented Nick Vaughan and Chateauville Executive Director Doug Beck, our Castleton Festival shows for next year.

    Designer Nick Vaughan currently has a huge hit on his hands with his new show called LILY'S REVENGE which is currently sold out at a theatre called the HERE ARTS CENTRE...

    One of the operas we're working on is by Igor Stravinsky (details to follow..) ....(I was lucky enough to direct my first production of his RAKE'S PROGRESS this summer with the wonderful singers of British Youth Opera - see previous pages)

    If I look out from the Chateauville Foundation office window I can see the lights of Essex House. Stravinsky lived the last years of his life here - and died in Essex House in 1971...

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    BYO Rake's Progress Review from Opera Magazine

    Wonders will never cease! A positive review of my British Youth Opera production of THE RAKE'S PROGRESS - by the famous Hugh Canning:

    "William Kerley's staging of The Rake's Progress, in William Fricker's spare, atmospheric sets and contemporary costumes - a timely credit-crunch Rake, to be sure - was one of the best I have seen anywhere, and certainly the finest BYO offering I have attended in recent years.

    Kerley's Tom, the excellent Nicky Spence, was a vivid creation, a cocky, upwardly-mobile bovver-boy, a dead-cert winner for one of those ghastly but occasionally riveting TV greedfests, Dragon's Den of The Apprentice... He spivved up oleaginously as his fortunes prospered, aided by Derek Welton's charistmatic, Nosteratu-without-the-fangs Nick Shadow. His descent into madness was all the more moving for his earlier fallibility - here was a young man led astray by malevolence and left to bear sole responsibility for his over-optimism and gullibility. Kerley stage-managed the fable brilliantly, lending an uncomfortably topical feel to the Baba scenes, with reptilian party-goers happy to share in Tom's success only to turn into vultures at the auction of his wordly goods. This was a staging that looked chic despite the absence of scenery, and drew its finger-wagging moral trenchantly.

    ...Peter Robinson and the excellent BYO orchestra matched the slick discipline of this exemplary staging."