Let’s Push Things Forward >>>

Here at Manchester Camerata we’re always looking at ways to push our art form further and engage with new audiences.

That’s why you are as likely to see us at a sweaty rave performing Hacienda House classics as you are to see us in the serene Stoller Hall performing Mozart.

Let’s face it, good music is good music, and we believe in this premise so much, we have a special person in our team who is dedicated to breaking down barriers, tearing up the rule book, and blue sky-ing the proverbial out of it. Enter : Becky Parnell- Creative Producer.

In this short read we caught up with Becky to find out more about her job and also took a look at our collaborative project with Electronic Composer extraordinaire Sven Helbig. If you’re not into reading much you can watch a wee video about our collaboration here!

So Becky can you tell us a little about your position at Manchester Camerata and what you’ve been up to recently?

Becky Parnell: “Sure! My role is a joint position with Creative Manchester and Manchester Camerata, bridging the gap between education and industry. It’s a really varied and exciting role: one day I could be in Withernsea looking after a concert with 14 musicians and hundreds of children, the next day I could be delivering a lecture to a group of Masters students, or sat in the University’s fabulous library researching audience engagement through digital platforms. Over the course of the first year of the role I’ve been fortunate enough to produce some really exciting concerts ranging from our stunning performance of Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks soundtrack at YES to a collaborative concert with Music Action International’s Stone Flowers group at Gorton Monastery.

Manchester Camerata is constantly looking for innovative ways to break down barriers, and with support from the Ellerman Foundation, one aspect of my work is the ‘Creative Lab’ series of artist-led exploratory sessions which examine and interrogate challenges which inhibit the progress of the classical music sector.”

Ace! Can you tell us a little about the Creative Lab series and the collaboration with Sven?

2Held in October 2019, our first Lab examined classical concert presentation and potential barriers to attendance. Formed of a diverse group of people from both within and outside of the sector, the discussion uncovered a set of ideas to be tested in future Manchester Camerata concerts. Following the Lab, Manchester Camerata’s concert with Sven Helbig at Manchester Cathedral gave the orchestra the opportunity to test out some initial performance concepts and ideas. These included the musicians improvising whilst roaming the space of the Cathedral, performing in the round on a circular stage, and allowing the audience to move freely around the musicians. This movement and openness worked incredibly effectively at breaking down the barriers between performer and audience. On top of this we spent a lot of time working on staging and aesthetics, using dramatic lighting and visual theatrical effects to create a re-imaging of Mozart for the 21st century. “

Nice one Becky! Keep up the good work! 

Manchester Camerata is constantly looking for innovative ways to break down barriers…

Becky Parnell
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