Opera Scotland

Opera sparks!

Posted 17 Apr 2016

An exciting competition entitled Opera Sparks 2018 has been launched. Young people are invited to compose short operas, with the three winning entries to be performed by Scottish Opera's Connect Company in 2018 when Connect celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Open to those aged 26 and under who are Scottish or based in Scotland, the winning operas - which must be no more than 15 minutes in length - will be performed by members of Connect, Scottish Opera's youth company, aged 14 to 21. Three composer/librettist partnerships will be awarded a cash prize of £3,500, and also receive mentoring support from members of the judging panel throughout the creative process. Scottish Opera's General Director, Alex Reedijk, will convene the panel, made up of Derek Clark (Scottish Opera's Head of Music), Olivia Fuchs (Opera Director), Christopher Gray (Director of Scottish Opera's Connect Company) and Stuart Stratford (Scottish Opera's Music Director). In addition, the winners will have the opportunity to attend rehearsals for Scottish Opera productions.

What is the first step? Those wishing to enter Opera Sparks 2018 must submit a one page synopsis by Friday 29 July 2016 outlining the narrative for their work, plus a short biography and their portfolio, with recordings of any previous works for voice they have created. Concepts drawing on different art forms, including the use of moving image, installations and within the electro acoustic genre will be welcomed. Submissions from individuals who wish to create both the libretto and score are also invited.

A short list of finalists will be invited to attend a pitch day in Glasgow on Saturday 1 October 2016 before the winners are announced.

Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera's Director of Outreach and Education added: 'Creating new work at all levels of performance is a key component of Scottish Opera's artistic identity. As Scotland's only youth opera company, Connect is perfectly positioned to act as a developmental bridge for young artists wishing to make their mark on the art form – as makers and as performers of the future.'

Full details on the Opera Sparks 2018 competition are available at www.scottishopera.org.uk. These cover deadlines, how to submit an application and where prospective applicants can find out more about the process, the Connect company and how the mentoring programme will work.

In addition, introductory presentations giving more information about the competition will be held in Glasgow, London and Manchester from 31 May to 3 June 2016. 

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