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Madame Butterfly – an exploration of Deirdre Dyson’s love of opera

As life has changed dramatically for us all over the past few weeks and inspired by a recent production of Madame Butterfly at the ENO (now sadly closed), we thought we’d touch on some things close to Deirdre’s heart, namely opera and the charity Deirdre supports with her annual productions.

The arts and culture has taken a body blow during this crisis and we look forward to a time soon when theatre’s and galleries open their doors again.

We recently went to see the ENO’s production of Madame Butterfly at the London Coliseum

Wowed by the beauty of the music, performances and sublime staging by the late film director Anthony Minghella, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore opera, something close to Deirdre’s heart and the hugely important charity which benefits from Deirdre’s annual opera at her home.

Kimono’s designed by the late Anthony Minghella

Deirdre has always been a talented singer, beginning to sing solos in church at the age of 7.  She was also in a junior choir, becoming leader at 17.  It was at this time Deirdre began voice training. 

Detail Kimono by Anthony Minghella

For the most part Deirdre has sung choral music in semi-professional choirs but during the last 10 years she has studied opera with a coach and hosts an annual charity opera event at her home where she sings one piece with the professional performers.

She still sings solos occasionally at other charity functions and loves many different operas but has particular favourite arias. 

A favourite opera director is Canadian Robert Carsen whose modern concepts and modern sets really appeal.

The charity Deirdre and her husband James support with their opera evening is CURE EB of which she is a patron. The charity raises vital funds to aid research into Epidermolysis Bullosa, a little known, genetic skin blistering condition that affects over 500,000 people around the world.  

The charity was established by Sharmila and James Collins for their daughter Sohana who was born with this dreadful condition where the skin blisters internally as well as externally and who has not been out of pain since the day she was born 19 years ago.

The care involved is hard to imagine and children with this condition rarely live beyond 20 however this charity is steaming ahead with major breakthroughs in cell research and we are all praying hard for Sohana and all other children who suffer.

Click here to donate to this hugely worthwhile research.

Finally we can’t mention Madame Butterfly without linking to Deirdre’s Butterfly rug collection – these vibrant hand knotted carpets feature designs inspired by the patterns on Butterfly and moth wings and includes designs such as BORBOLETA, FARFALLA, PALOMA, PSYCHE and LEPKE  

Deirdre Dyson FARFALLA hand knotted wool & silk rug

View these and other rug designs on our website or contact us for design, colour advice or a quote.

 


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FROM LOOM TO ROOM…Part One

A two-part blog post where Edison reveals some fascinating facts about our hand knotted rugs, their history and production…

The history and production of carpets goes back centuries and there are countless facts, tales and accounts of the evolution of carpets from past times to the present day.

At Deirdre Dyson Carpets Limited, we pride ourselves on supporting the ancient technique of hand knotting on the loom, using only natural wool and silk.  This combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern design, guarantees the livelihood of our Tibetan makers (the majority being women) and supports their local communities, whilst guaranteeing our customers a unique, quality product that is both timeless and exclusively theirs.

Historically, carpets were not used on the floor but were used as textile coverings for walls and tables and only became associated with floor treatments in European interiors from the 15th century onwards. The term “carpet” is widely used interchangeably with the term “rug” although nowadays we typically refer to smaller, free standing pieces as rugs. But who say’s rugs should only ever be small?!?

Deirdre Dyson bespoke large scale version of ATTITUDE for a Chelsea penthouse. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd
Deirdre Dyson bespoke large scale version of SCATTER. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd

Behind every Deirdre Dyson carpet lies a story and here are a few interesting facts and snippets of information that you may not be aware of but might be interested to know more about.

Take a look from behind.

The best way to appreciate the skill of making a quality hand knotted carpet is to take a look at the back, an area of the carpet so many of us rarely focus on. It’s from here that you really understand just how many knots it takes to make a rug, and the particular time and skill required when changing or grading colours across a large area. It reminds us of just how unique each bespoke carpet is; each one being entirely handmade and finished.

On the back of every Deirdre Dyson carpet, you’ll also find the ‘Goodweave’ label, with a unique code to ensure your carpet was made ethically and in line with Goodweave standards. Additionally, through our Goodweave membership, a percentage of our profits go back into local community projects such as schooling and education for the young. By purchasing our carpets, you are directly supporting the Nepalese carpet industry and communities in a positive way.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Label
Each Deirdre Dyson hand knotted rug has its own unique, numbered GOODWEAVE label

Custom made is best.

With the environment on everyone’s minds and lips, a bespoke carpet offers one of the best solutions for interior decoration.

Being custom made, we’re creating a carpet that is tailored to your needs in size, shape, design and colour and therefore you will most likely want to treasure it for a long time. Custom made also decreases unnecessary waste, as every rug is created on a ‘made to order’ basis. Our carpets are knotted in the traditional method just like antique carpets but are created with contemporary style and superior materials that are made to last.

 

A large scale version of Deirdre Dyson’s PINNACLE hand knotted rug. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd.

 

A version of Deirdre Dyson’s DAWN hand knotted graded wool and graded silk rug. Photograph Simone Bossi. Copyright Alexander Martin Architects.

Learn more in part two of this blog post.

 


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A Savoured Evening at the Gallery

Deirdre hosted a private event at our Kings Road Gallery last week to thank very special clients and collaborators.

Bubblefood created a spectacular selection of food and accompanying cocktails inspired by this year’s VISTA carpet collection which made for a wonderfully convivial evening.

The terrace ready to welcome guests.
Interior Designer Aida Bratovic from StudioAIDA ‘hunting for truffles’.

Luxury Topping’s Trisha Topping.
Alice Price, Sir James Dyson and Victoria Nixon.
President of SBID Vanessa Brady OBE and Edison Abidi.
Agnes Guillard, Chelsea Design Quarter’s Alexandra Metcalf and Edison Abidi.
Timothy Hatton Architect’s Correna Mitchell.

Rosanna Kitchen’s Darren Miller, Deirdre Dyson, Architect Timothy Hatton, Sir James Dyson and Correna Mitchell.
Strategist and Entrepreneur Grace Bian, Deirdre Dyson and ex Centerparcs CEO Peter Mole.

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