Project information

Opera for All

1. People would love to see good opera, sung beautifully, if only they could find a way in. They want to go to a live performance, without paying high prices or being bored. 2. Professional opera singers need to build their C.Vs with experience of major roles in professionally directed classic opera

June 2013 - June 2013

Charity information: The Merry Opera Company

The Merry Opera Company logo
  • Need

    Need

    Can audiences brought up on music theatre, Gilbert & Sullivan, pantomime & cabaret really enjoy classic opera? Can the marriage of trained voices & live instruments still work without electronic amplification? Can the music, the stories & the characters still have anything to say to us? Can small scale productions of Grand Opera staged by directors of international reputation appeal to modern audiences? Can up-&-coming singers gain broad experience in major roles to help their careers?

    Solution

    3 ticket free performances at The Scoop in London, an open-air amphitheatre by City Hall.
    The Scoop’s manager wrote: “We had such a diverse crowd last night. There were over 700 people there. Some were older people of the Borough, others very young children plus every race & creed you can imagine. What a mix & only something Covent Garden can dream of! In truth you truly hit the spot on what we are trying to achieve.” An unusual venue that is excellent experience for up - & - coming singers.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Imagine being new to opera and being unexpectedly thrilled by it.

    Activities

    » Create a production in English with professional singers staged by a director of international standing that appeals to modern audiences
    » Stage three performances at The Scoop in June 2013 as part of our UK tour
    » Tickets are free at these performances
    » We perform whatever the weather

    Success will be an audience of over 1,100. The Scoop seats 700; attendance depends on the weather. In terrible weather (2012) the audience was 1,100. Feedback via Twitter & email.


    Aim 2

    Imagine being an up-&-coming singer and securing the chance to sing a major role in a classic opera

    Activities

    » Provide major roles in a classic opera (Mozart’s Magic Flute) for up-&-coming professionals
    » Production created by a Stage director and a Music director of international reputation
    » Wide experience: stretches performers’ ability to convince an audience amid the sound & clatter of the London outdoors
    » Pay the performers

    Success will be exposing our singers to 1,000+ people in very stretching singing conditions: outdoors London, audience sitting very close, audience of all types of people & ages


  • Impact

    Impact

    2013 will be our 5th year at The Scoop. We know these performances create a following, & that people go to see other operas as a result of seeing us. For the performers, this experience helps them attract other work. The performances at The Scoop are part of our UK tours which talent scouts follow closely. Success shown by email & Twitter contact from our audience & by contracts secured elsewhere by performers, also by repeat invitations from venue to return

    Risk

    Ability to deliver: we have toured for five years, & 2013 will be our 5th season at The Scoop.
    Weather: always a risk of a cloudburst, but otherwise we perform in wind and rain, and the audience brings umbrellas

    Reporting

    One month before: progress report including audience reactions to the production on tour & on detailed arrangements for setting up at The Scoop.
    Within one month after: report on audience numbers & audience reaction, with photographs, & actual vs. budget costs. Via email or paper as needed.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,181

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,582 Production Proportion of total costs: set, costumes, props rehearsals, direction
      £4,462 Performance Fees to singers, musicians, crew etc
      £1,137 Marketing PR, flyers, web etc
  • Background

    Location

    The Scoop in Central London adjacent to the Mayor of London's City Hall, near HMS Belfast. An open-air amphitheatre that seats 700 to 1,000 depending upon the configuration of our stage set.

    Beneficiaries

    The Scoop’s manager wrote to us: “We had such a diverse crowd last night. There were over 700 people there. Some were older people of the borough, others very young children plus every race & creed you can imagine. What a mix & only something Covent Garden can dream of! In truth you truly hit the spot on what we are trying to achieve.” An unusual venue with an excitable crowd that is excellent experience for singers.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Merry Opera has performed at The Scoop for the last 4 years, each time taking a show that has proved to be a hit with audiences, because it has been tested in our UK tours in the previous February & March. We therefore have the experience both of staging the show with full set & costume across a wide range of venues & also with adapting it to fit the specific requirements of the Scoop, so that our singers are completely at ease with performing that production outdoors in wind & rain

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Matthew Quirk

    General Manager: has run Merry Opera for 5 years, previously spent 28 years running own companies. All the performers will contribute to the success!

Thank you for opening my eyes to how opera can be such a fundamentally moving experience

Audience member, Bath 2012