Laura Attridge discusses the creation of her new work, Kind Regards

The darkly comic piece to camera is being broadcast via Facebook as part of the Royal Opera House's International Women's Day celebrations.

By Laura Attridge
Friday 5 March 2021, 5.11pm

Kind Regards is one of two pieces created in response to an open call from the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme for women composers and librettists to create an original art song for solo classical voice and piano of about 5-minutes. Laura Attridge, a director and writer for opera and theatre, created the piece with composer Lillie Harris. Here she writes about the experience of creating this work.

One of the most exciting things about this project was the opportunity to work with composer Lillie Harris for the first time. We’d already struck up an ongoing correspondence online – primarily via Twitter – and were looking for an opportunity to collaborate, so when I saw the open call from the Royal Opera House in February 2020 for female teams to apply to write a new song, I sent it to Lillie straight away. We were lucky enough to be interviewed and given one of the two commissions.

The initial brief was towards a live premiere in the Spring of 2020. We began work, and although it soon became apparent that the premiere would need to be significantly postponed due to the pandemic, we carried on working, the song slowly taking shape between us. I discovered Lillie to be a generous and thoughtful collaborator: we would talk at length over Zoom, sharing ideas and digging into the various drafts of text and music together, and send excited texts and voice notes back and forth at moments of inspiration. As a result, my text was as much inspired by Lillie’s musical ideas as her music was by my text.

This song gave me the chance not only to be creative in a time in which opportunities for creativity were scarce, but also the gift of a new collaborator and friend. My sincere thanks to the Royal Opera House and the Engender Network for making all of this possible. I hope Kind Regards brings as much enjoyment to audiences as it did to Lillie and me while writing it.