Everything we do at Streetwise Opera is centred around the idea of co-creation; Streetwise Opera participants – Performers – creating and making work in collaboration with incredible artists from the world of opera.
Streetwise Opera Performers meet almost every week of the year in sessions in London, Nottingham and Manchester. The sessions are usually focused on developing performance skills (singing, acting and movement), responding to existing repertoire and creating new work. Just before Easter this year, the London group performed a co-created response to Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento, the Nottingham group transported Carmen to a cabaret-setting and, in Manchester, The Marriage of Figaro became an examination of worker’s rights in a factory.
So, for us at Streetwise Opera, making a micro-opera requires teams of Performers ready to co-create new work; work that challenges us to think differently about the world in which we live. And we’re always looking to welcome new Performers to join us. When we started planning Re:sound, we began by reaching out to homelessness organisations in London, Nottingham and Manchester to partner with us. Six of the nine micro-operas will be written and composed in hostels and day centres.
Of course, creating a micro-opera also requires a wide-range of brilliant artists to collaborate with Streetwise Opera Performers.
In March this year, we put out a nationwide call for composers and choreographers who shared our vision of what opera can be and wanted to join us on the journey. We were completely overwhelmed by the response. We had the immense privilege of listening to hours of amazing music submitted by composers and watching inspiring theatre and dance pieces by choreographers.
Performers in each city – Kim and Brian in London, Ruben in Nottingham, and Martin in Manchester – alongside Streetwise Opera regional producers – Faye, Victoria, Emma – and myself spent the best part of a week meeting many of those who had expressed an interest in working with us. At the end of each day of meetings, the question we were left asking was; why are we only creating nine-micro-operas?!
We are immensely proud to announce today some of those artists who will be joining us on Re:sound. Incredible composers and choreographers – each with a deep-rooted association with the city in which we’ll be creating each micro-opera – working alongside Performers to create new stories that reveal the hidden layers of our cities and keen to explore the boundaries of how opera can bring us closer to these stories.
We’ll be announcing the names of more artists who’ll be joining us soon – please keep checking back.
What does it take to create a micro-opera?
Well, that’s the long answer.
And in short - incredible artists. Streetwise Opera Performers, composers, choreographers, designers and film-makers collaborating alongside each other to co-create extraordinary stories.