By Jessica Duchen

Odette, Swan Lake’s enchanted swan princess, is still trying to break her spell

Thursday, 31 August 2017

New pledge level: a personal consultancy session! Plus: the next Pledge Party, and some ballet from a glorious Odette...

Dear all,

I hope you've had a wonderful summer. Mine has certainly been eventful. Over the past couple of years I've been working on a new "people's opera" called SILVER BIRCH with the wonderful composer Roxanna Panfunik, and in late July it was premiered at Garsington Opera. We had some fantastic reviews (The Times called my libretto 'powerful and poetic', spurring purring). And seeing this work touch so many lives - 180 performers, including many amateurs and children, their families, our audience and countless more - has been absolutely overwhelming. It's actually been the greatest experience of my professional life. We hope it will be done someday by other companies and that we'll be able to carry on and write more operas together.

So that's why I have shamefully neglected my beloved Odette and my just-as-beloved audience. Grovels. But I know you'll understand, because you are that sort of audience.

To make up for it, hopefully, I've been devising some new pledges. Since I often receive enquiries from musicians wanting advice about their career paths, and also from would-be writers who would like to know how to develop their work, I'm offering as a pledge reward a 4-hr personal consultancy session for either writers or musicians in which we can together analyse where you're at and look at how you can take things forward - whether it's presentation or stage-fright management for musicians, story structure for budding writers or a general advice-and-pep-talk session for either, I'd be delighted to help. And I'll give you a written report afterwards. Alternatively, you may have a close friend or family member whom you feel would benefit from this, in which case it could make a good birthday or Christmas present - we'll schedule the sessions once the total crowdfunding is achieved. You also get the ebook, paperback and playlist thrown in for good measure. 

I've also just received the news that I've been selected from the Unbound names-in-a-mug to pitch Meeting Odette at the next Unbound Pitch Party at Waterstone's, Gower Street, on Monday 18 September at 6.30pm. Please join us: there'll be eight authors with five minutes each to tackle the Dragon's Den for your pledges! You can book online here: https://www.waterstones.com/events/the-unbound-pledge-party-a-literary-dragons-den/london-gower-street

Meanwhile, here's one of the most beautiful of Odettes, the Royal Ballet's glorious Argentinian ballerina Marianela Nunez, on her old home turf, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, at the Tango Movement Winter Ball this past January. The audience sits on the floor and Marianela's prince in jeans is the  splendid Alejandro Parente. It's a heart-stopping, intimate, extraordinary performance. I was transfixed and hope you will be too. I think that giving a performance like that must be like writing a new libretto every single time.

Thanks so much and lots of love,

Jessica x


Back to project page
Share on social

Top rewards

37 pledges

Digital Patron

Ebook edition
Buy now
£20  + shipping
57 pledges

Super Patron Paperback

1st edition paperback, ebook edition and your name in the list of Super Patrons in the front of the book.