Selfmade Music is an artist-led, small-scale, non-profit, independent arts organisation promoting high-quality vocal productions and musical events. Through their educational courses they seek to empower individuals in the confidence and skill of their vocal expression. They raise funds for their work through exhibitions of artwork and CDs created by the Artistic Director, Susie Self.
STOP PRESS: View 10-minute presentation of 'Quilt Song' composed by Susie Self, Birmingham 2018. Scored for 4 operatic soloists, 13-piece instrumental ensemble, and trained youth and community choirs. Link: https://vimeo.com/300601588
a brief history
Selfmade Music was started in 1992 by Susie Self and Michael Christie, to create and develop new music theatre. Selfmade Music grew out of The Royal Opera House "Garden Venture". It has received project funding five times from The Arts Council for the creation of new productions of Extraordinary Women, Heroic Women, Three by Three, SLUMP and Pope Joan. The company has toured to Taiwan, Mexico, California and at “The Tete a Tete” Festival in the U.K. They have commissioned many composers with funds from the Arts Council of England. 2012 saw the launch of their new sister company, Seastar Opera. The aim of Seastar Opera is to develop a regional company of excellence for coastal North Norfolk devoted to presenting challenging opera that is not normally heard in this region. Seastar’s productions include Britten’s "Turn of the Screw" and Mozart’s "Cosi fan tutte". They have already appeared on Woman’s Hour and at the Bromsgrove Festival. Their 2015 production of "Hello Mr. Gershwin!", a musical travelogue through Gershwin’s greatest hits, featured composer/pianist Michael Finnissy. It premiered at The Holt Festival and went on to The Granary at Wells-next-the-Sea.
Seastar Opera’s distinguished Patrons are Gavin Henderson CBE, David Parry, Marcus Davey CBE and Helen Chadwick. They are also deeply indebted to Pat Bannister, ex-Manager of the Granary Theatre, Bridget Roper (Company Manager) and Susanne Smith (Stage Manager).
Selfmade Music runs residential courses in North Norfolk: “Singing with Ease”, ”Singer’s Intensives”, ”Subtle Sound Immersion”, “Guitar and Voice” and “Painting Inner and Outer Landscapes” (see Events and Courses for details). These are extremely popular with complete beginners through to advanced students. The weekends are holistic and creative in their approach. Combined with delicious home-cooked food and the beauty of the Norfolk countryside, many participants return again and again for the buzz they get from such camaraderie and support of their creative process.
The Butt, a new opera by Susie Self, was very well received when it premiered in Vienna on September 1st 2016. This was a co-production with new music theatre festival Musiktheatertage Wien, in only the second year of its existence. Six singers and four instrumentalists under the baton of the composer gave four performances in Werk X, a re-purposed industrial space on the outskirts of Vienna, which is now an excellent venue for fringe and new work.
Sea Requiem triumph
The première of Dr Susannah Self's Sea Requiem took place in the Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral on April 1st 2023. It raised £701 for the RNLI, and received a lengthy ovation, which was also a tribute to the magnificent singing and playing of the North Sea Voices and Orchestra in their first outing as a group.