The tired Humans build fantastic Machines to ease their workload, but the Machines create a nasty Smog which threatens the Humans’ very existence. No number of crazy, eccentric ideas can solve the problem of how to get rid of the Smog. What can we do?
Machine Dream was written with librettist Zanib Mian and developed in workshops with children from Bringhusrt Primary School. It was commissioned by Mahogany Opera Group for their Snappy Operas initiative.
Between 2016 and 2018 the Mahogany Opera Group worked with ten regional partners, ten composers and librettists, and around 1700 young people in the creation and performance of ten new, 10-minute long operas for children aged 7-11, known as Snappy Operas.
A Snappy Opera introduces all the essential elements of opera – singing, acting and making – in a fun, colourful, bite-sized chunk. Each character in a Snappy Opera is represented by a group, so there are no main parts, chorus, or individual dramatis personae, making a wonderfully non-hierarchical rehearsal atmosphere where all participants are constantly engaged.
Snappy Operas are really adaptable too. There are optional sections for more ambitious groups and optional solo lines for singers who feel confident. Each piece is orchestrated with its own small band of up to three instruments, but they can easily be performed with piano only if needed. A Snappy Opera can be produced very simply with minimal props, or with a full elaborate set and costumes where time and resources allows. They can be performed in any kind of space – classroom, hall or theatre – either on their own or as part of as set of works.
Snappy Operas continues to grow, with an inaugural Snappy Opera Festival staged in summer 2019 (as part of which the Southwold Music Trust produced three operas with primary schools in Southwold and Reydon) and with further commissions in 2020 and productions planned for 2021. For more information please visit the Mahogany Opera Group website.
‘A key element in our music strategy is for students to work with professional artists, to perform in inspiring venues and to experience a professional rehearsal process – this project delivered that in spades!’
Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub
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