The Sapling, Youth Opera Company
The Sapling, Youth Opera Company

Open Call for Opera Creatives: making opera for younger audiences

Creating works for cross-generational audiences presents opera creatives with exciting opportunities to evolve the artform, to develop their creative practice and to challenge preconceptions. 

By Tom Floyd, Kate Wyatt and Sarah Crabtree
Friday 8 September 2023, 4pm

The Royal Opera House believes producing operas which engage young people is essential to diversify and secure the future of the art form, as well as to make a new opera canon for audiences today and for the future.

We are excited to be welcoming creative pitches from composers (including music creators from all genres of voice-composition) and writers to join a research and development project developing new opera for younger audiences. This multiphase project will support artists to deepen their practice of creating work for and with young people (9-15) through a series of mentoring, workshopping, and performance opportunities.   

The Royal Opera House is looking for creatives who: 

– have an authentic interest in creating opera for young people (aged 9-15) 

– believe they have a story and style which will engage young people

– have a story suitable for a small cast of adult singers and a children’s chorus 

– are open to a creative process which is informed by feedback from and developed with Royal Opera House producers, industry professionals and young people  

The project will take place between November 2023 and July 2025.

PHASE ONE (Nov 2023-Jul 2024)  

– opportunities to observe rehearsals at the Royal Opera House including one family opera production performed on the Linbury stage and one on the Main Stage and rehearsals that include the ROH Youth Opera Company. 

– mentoring from opera creatives and Royal Opera staff 

– Initial ideal development, including workshops, readings, 1:1 sessions or time with performers to develop and workshop opera excerpts. 

– An end of year sharing of the pilot, with an agreed amount of material being performed by professional artists and the ROH Youth Opera Company, with Royal Opera House Producers offering feedback and accessing the viability of developing projects further. 

PHASE TWO (Sep 2024-Jul 2025)  

– Selected projects from phase one will be offered commissions to develop their project further into either 30- or 60- minute operas.  

– Support in building a creative team to develop a production 

– Opportunities to develop and perform the production within the Royal Opera House.  

How to Apply? 

To apply for this project composers and writers can either submit a joint application or an individual application if you are happy for us to pair you with another creative should your pitch be accepted.  

The pitch needs to give a clear outline of the story / narrative. This can be a new story, or we are open to pitches based on existing texts.

To apply please complete this online form by 5pm on Sunday 15 October 2023. Please note shortlisted artists will be invited to attend an interview and workshop at the Royal Opera House on 4 November.  

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