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Project information

Co-Opera8 - A New Youth Opera Company

Opera can be life-enhancing for performers and audiences alike but is deemed by many as elitist and not for them. Co-Oper8, a training/performance course for 8 to 18 year old children, aims to enthuse, excite and educate young people, their families & the wider community to the drama that is opera.

September 2013 - August 2014

Charity information: Co-Opera Co.

Co-Opera Co. logo
  • Need


    Young people in several areas of the UK lack the opportunity to access the high quality training and performance opportunities that used to proliferate, creating a detrimental effect on the individual, the community and the Arts. Singers are entering conservatoires with little or no stage experience. Talent is not being recognised at an early age. Enthusiasm for and attendance of live performance of every genre, including opera, is diminishing and the cultural life of our country is suffering.


    Co-Oper8- devised by Co-Opera Co.- will provide 30 reasonably priced weekly workshops & a 2 week Summer course for children aged 8 to 18 working on every aspect of performance with a bias towards opera. The annual course will culminate in performances of an opera in a major theatre with professional opera singers singing some of the roles and a professional orchestra. This totally inclusive project will involve not just the children but also their families and the wider community - Opera for All

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide our students with invaluable stage experience in a variety of performance situations.


    » Performance is at the heart of Co-Opera8 and our students will be putting their newly acquired skills into practice at the end of each workshop.
    » Throughout the year the students will present regular showings of their work to their parents, family and friends
    » Co-Oper8 students will be working towards performances of a fully staged production in the summer
    » Co-Opera Co. will endeavor to provide performance opportunities to Co-Oper8 students in their professional productions.

    What success will look like

    Our students will be performing every week to each other. To their parents, friends and families at the end of each term. To the wider public in the Co-Oper8 summer production..

    Aim 2

    To discover, develop & hone vocal ability, physical skill, stage craft, and performance technique.


    » Each student will be assessed for their own level of ability in the three major disciplines required for performance – vocal, physical and dramatic.
    » Students will develop their innate talents & discover new strengths by being introduced to and working with a wide variety of genres, including opera
    » Students will work with and learn from a team of highly experienced professional artists – singers, directors, actors, dancers, conductors, animateurs

    What success will look like

    Seeing the students gradually discover and hone their talents throughout the year, demonstrating, in performance, the progress of individuals and the centre - company - as a whole.

    Aim 3

    To increase awareness & enthusiasm for Opera as an enjoyable entertainment for the whole community.


    » Involving the parents, families and friends of the Co-Oper8 students in regular showings of their work to show their progress throughout the year.
    » Introducing them all to practising members of the operatic profession in informal get-togethers and performances by Co-Opera Co. at The Apex Theatre.
    » Inviting the wider community to participate in Operatic concerts in which Co-Opera8 students will also perform.
    » Securing discounted tickets for students and their families for operatic and classical music performances.

    What success will look like

    Success will be filling The Apex Theatre for our summer performances with an appreciative audience made up not only of friends and family but of the wider community

  • Impact


    The Bury project is intended as a pilot scheme which we hope to extend to other areas of the UK. The long term changes will be difficult to demonstrate for quite some time but we would expect eventually to see singers entering the profession with far greater stage craft, that young people with a special vocal talent would be recognised and nurtured and that enthusiasm for opera would gradually increase across the wider community helping to resuscitate the ailing cultural life of our country.


    We need 60 children to make this project financially and artistically viable. This should be a self supporting project. The funding we are seeking is for development, set up and production costs and to provide bursaries for a number of students.
    There is a risk of not recruiting enough students.
    The local council, schools and The Apex are all very supportive of Co-Oper8 and are all offering support to help attract enough students. The Apex is also offering space to run a taster workshop.


    We will produce a half termly newsletter which we will email to all our donors.
    Donors will also be very welcome to attend our workshops and performances and to participate in whatever way they wish which might be of benefit to the students and the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £17,900

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,600 Set up -Development Hire of room and fees to tutors for three days of development training.Advertising -flyers,posters,
      £11,800 Production costs Set, costumes,orchestra, director, soloists, conductor, advertising, scores, stage management
      £4,500 Bursaries 10 full bursaries or 20 half bursaries
  • Background


    Bury St Edmunds is a rural, medieval market town, with a population of 37,500. The borough population is 111,500, with a significant influx of migrants to the surrounding area; as such, promoting social cohesion in the community is a significant matter. Educational achievement varies, from above average national standards to one of the poorest skills profiles in the UK. Local facilities include a Regency theatre, cathedral and new concert hall, together with a lively annual Arts festival.


    Co-Oper8 is a totally inclusive project for the benefit of children and young people aged 8-18 years drawn from any social or educational background from within the town and the wider area with a desire to participate. Their families and friends will engage in students' development throughout the year. Producing a professional level of classical performance in the largest local theatre in the heart of the town will promote the achievements of participants and excite community interest.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Co-Oper8 is a new initiative run by Co-Opera Co. - an opera company which helps and supports emerging artists in their early years in the profession, through development training and performance opportunities. Co-Opera Co. has earned an enviable reputation within the profession and with our audiences throughout the UK by presenting high quality productions in our own individual style which engage both opera fanatics and novices alike. We believe we are perfectly placed to carry out this project

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Kate Flowers

    As Artistic Director of Co-Opera Co.Kate will oversee the whole project. Her expertise as an operatic soprano and expert tutor are beyond doubt.

    James Bonas

    James who studied as an actor at RADA before turning his talents to directing opera will direct the final production.

    John Andrews

    John who works at ETO, Garsington, Stanley Hall & Co-Opera Co. wil conduct the final production

    Julia Salmon

    Julia will hold the pivotal role of centre manager.


Will pay for 1 student's place for 1 year