Ten mini-operas for young people
Snappy Operas is a nationwide project making opera with young people aged 7-11. Working in conjunction with Mahogany and ten regional partner organisations, 1,500 primary school children will take part in creating and performing ten-minute works.
Each Snappy Opera is being developed by a different creative partnership working closely with groups of young people to bring stories, characters and music to life. The composers and writers involved represent some of the most exciting voices creating music and dramatic work, from leading artists to those emerging in the field.
Artists we’re working with include Peter Cant, Luke Carver Goss, Emily Hall, Ed Hughes, Toby Litt, Jamie Man, Ian McMillan, Stephen Plaice and Errollyn Wallen.
The pieces are being written for children’s voices with a flexible accompaniment, for piano and/or extended instrumentation, with the intention that they can be learnt and performed in a single day. Alongside the work itself, young people will have the opportunity to learn about all the different crafts of making an opera, creating costumes, props, staging and more.
In parallel to the creation of each piece, we will be running a programme of professional development and training for school teachers, music and drama practitioners from each region to share skills and knowledge.
The ten Snappy Operas are being developed in two cycles over three years, with mass performances in spring 2017 and 2018. Following the completion of all ten works, we will publish them along with learning resources. This will enable Snappy Operas to be performed by even more young people, creating an enduring resource and addition to repertoire for young people.
We’ll be following each Snappy Operas as it develops, so keep an eye out for blogs, videos, discussions and more over the coming months.
I. The Itch Witch by Emily Hall and Toby Litt with Jubilee Opera, Aldeburgh
II. The Magical Music Tree by Luke Carver Goss and Ian McMillan with Place Farm Primary Academy, Haverhill
III. Counting Sheep by Jamie Man and Stephen Plaice with Freethorpe Community Primary School, Norwich
IV. The Lighthouse Wave by Errollyn Wallen with Jericho Primary School, Whitehaven
V. The Feast That Went Off With A Bang by Ed Hughes and Peter Cant
Operas VI-X will be developed in autumn 2017
The Apex, Cornwall Music Education Hub, Jubilee Opera, Norfolk Music Service, North Tyneside Music Education Hub, Suffolk County Music Service, Rosehill
Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, PRS for Music Foundation
The Itch Witch is part of PRS for Music Foundation's New Music Biennial 2017, which is supported by Hull UK City of Culture, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Arts Council England, BBC Radio 3, Southbank Centre, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Cockayne, The John S Cohen Foundation, the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, The Finzi Trust, RVW Trust, The Bliss Trust and NMC Recordings
Image: James Berry