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Project information

Opera by and for the community 2011

Our annual opera production enables local singers and musicians to take part in a production of a high professional standard. It often features a lesser known or neglected work. Young professional singers learn new roles and gain valuable experience. Workshops involve schools in the project.

January 2011 - December 2011

Charity information: New Sussex Opera

New Sussex Opera logo
  • Need


    A common impression is that opera is an elitist art form, or that attending it has to be prohibitively expensive. In the south east. there are not many opportunities to see live quality opera for those unable or unwilling to travel to London, or not lucky enough to be able to obtain tickets for Glyndebourne. For the performers and others taking part, there are few chances to learn new roles or to gain professional experience except for those who manage to join a national or regional company.


    We aim to keep seat prices affordable. We use a variety of venues in the south east, bringing opera closer to many. Through auditions we cast many singers who are at an early stage in their careers, but may well be stars in the making. We work in the local community and in schools, introducing many to the magic of opera who would otherwise not have given opera a try. Young and amateur singers join the chorus and get the chance to sing or cover smaller roles, working with our professional team.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Stage New Sussex Opera's annual community based opera for 2011,


    » Identify suitable opera meeting our criteria - a rewarding, interesting and probably lesser known work providing opportunities for our large chorus
    » Book suitable touring venues in a variety of areas within the south east of England, of an appropriate size and with good acoustics for music.
    » Appoint the musical and production team for the project. Audition singers for solo roles. Recruit orchestral players.
    » Recruit new members, audition and rehearse chorus.

    What success will look like

    Success will be achieving large and enthusiastic audiences at the performances, a good range of favourable reviews and positive feedback from all involved.

    Aim 2

    Give opportunities to young singers and musicians to learn new roles and gain valuable experience.


    » Auditions, contact with music colleges, agents and singing teachers, selecting candidates on basis of submitted CVs.
    » Give members of our chorus the chance to audition to sing smaller roles or to cover roles.

    What success will look like

    Success will be the response of those singers, orchestral musicians and others taking part.

    Aim 3

    Involve local schools, colleges and local groups in the project


    » Set up workshops in a cluster or clusters of local schools, linked with the production. Some of the students will take part in the actual performances
    » Involve members of colleges and local groups as appropriate.

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by the response of the students, the feedback from staff, and the active participation of the students in the production itself.

    Aim 4

    Ensure our performances reach as wide an audience as possible, especially those new to opera.


    » Ensure prices are affordable, with special offers to attract those wanting to give opera a try.
    » News releases to all forms of media, specialist, national and local, including "human interest" stories for e.g. local radio, television and press.
    » Through the personal contacts of the wide range and number of people involved in some way in the production - families, relatives, friends, colleagues
    » Promotion of website, viral marketing, Facebook, Twitter etc, organised by members of the chorus.

    What success will look like

    Success will be judged from feedback from the audience through e,g, our audience questionnaires (printed and online) and reports from the staff at our touring venues..

    Aim 5

    Promote wider understanding and love for the "miracle and magic of opera".


    » Informative articles in programme.
    » Pre performance talks.
    » Workshops
    » Articles and information on web and by email to supporters.

    What success will look like

    Success will be favourable feedback from questionnaires and from new members and supporters joining us.

  • Impact


    A successful project will allow is to plan with confidence for the following seasons, to continue to grow our operation and to achieve even more in the scope and ambition of what we undertake, having taken on board the lessons learnt from the previous project. We have presented a number of UK premieres over the years and success with this project will allow us to continue with this policy, and perhaps to consider commissioning a new work in the future. And new venues can be added to our tours.


    Singers can be indisposed: we try to arrange cover for major roles. Orchestral players are expected to arrange for a deputy if they are indisposed. We have never been forced to cancel a performance. We do carry insurance of course and also keep a sum for unforeseen contingencies in our project budget.


    Donors receive regular updates by email on our plans and on the progress of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £52,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,000 Production team oonductor, director, designer etc. fees & expenses
      £6,000 Soloists fees and expenses
      £14,500 Orchestra fees and expenses
      £9,000 Venue hire performances and rehearsals
      £3,500 Publicity including printing
      £4,000 Production set, props, costumes,lighting
      £3,000 Royalties including music hire
      £3,000 Contingency includes administration
  • Background


    Rehearsals in London and East Sussex
    Performances in Sussex and London


    Contrary to popular opinion, East Sussex has the lowest per capita income in the south east, so the profile of the area in which we operate is quite varied.
    Those who benefit will be our audiences, who we trust will enjoy an imaginative production of a high musical standard; all those taking part in the performances - soloists, chorus, childrens' chorus, orchestra; students and others involved in the worlshops.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    NSO has a track record since 1978 of successfully mounting ambitious and imaginative productions. It does this for a fraction of the amount which larger opera companies spend because: it is run by expert amateurs (in the best sense of the word); its large chorus is again amateur; it owns no expensive to maintain property; it carefully prioritises its spending. While musical standards are a priority, it does not spend large sums on lavish sets for touring, relying on inspiration and imagination.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    David James

    David is General Director of NSO. He has sung in the chorus since the company was founded and he is now coordinating this project..

    Nicholas Jenkins

    Nicholas, our Music Director and Chorus Master, has conducted five productions for us, including the UK première of Offenbach's The Rhine Fairies