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Home > Orlando Gough: Beyond Borders

Orlando Gough: Beyond Borders



Commissioned by:

Glyndebourne and Scottish Opera

Event date:

March 2013

Event venue:

Premiere at Glyndebourne

Find out more by visiting:

Imago will imagine a world where people of all ages are encouraged to explore their identities through cyber-versions of their own personalities. Children project themselves into possible futures whilst the elderly enjoy a palliative second life. At the centre of the opera, two young people fall in love – but are these young people real, or are they someone else’s creation?

A key theme will be exploring the idea of an “ideal” age, through the use of two choruses. The first chorus will represent the “golden age” and will be made up of people aged 15-19. The second will represent people outside of this age, made up of people aged 9-90.

A message from the commissioning organisations: “Glyndebourne and Scottish Opera are delighted to receive a PRS for Music Foundation Beyond Borders 2011 grant and wish to thank the panel and all of the funding partners for their support. This grant will enable us to commission Imago, a new opera by Orlando Gough, to be performed and enjoyed by the local communities surrounding both Glyndebourne and Scottish Opera.

Both opera companies have a strong commitment to commissioning and producing new work which is relevant and accessible for the whole community, and both have a strong track record in successfully delivering projects of this nature. This generous grant will enable us to build on the success of recent individual projects such as Knight Crew (Glyndebourne) and Dr Ferret’s Bad Medicine Road Show (Scottish Opera) by commissioning this new large-scale opera from Orlando Gough, his first full-length opera. Glyndebourne and Scottish Opera were both involved in Orlando’s previous community opera, On the Rim of the World, co-commissioned by eight UK opera companies, and we look forward to strengthening this collaboration.”

Orlando Gough has huge experience writing for the theatre, having composed music for operas, plays, dance pieces, music-theatre and television. He also devises and directs large-scale, site-specific choral work. Orlando is currently an associate artist of the Royal Opera House and directs The Shout ( In 2008 eight British opera companies, including Glyndebourne and Scottish Opera, commissioned him to write “On the Rim of the World”, for children’s voices, a chorus and orchestra. “Imago” will be Orlando’s first full-scale opera.

Recent work includes:
• “The Singing River” for 12 choirs, 18 boats, two cranes and a locomotive (Theater der Welt, Stuttgart)
• “We Turned On The Light” (BBC Proms)
• “Open Port” for 750 singers, brass band and wooden trumpets (closing event of Stavanger 2008 European Capital of Culture)
• “Raketensymphonie”, for voices and fireworks (opening event of Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture)
• “Just Add Water?”, a dance work with the choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh;
• “A Ring, A Lamp, A Thing”, an opera with libretto by Caryl Churchill (Linbury Studio)
• “The Finnish Prisoner”, with libretto by Stephen Plaice and directed by Susannah Waters, who will direct “Imago” at Glyndebourne.

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