Shirley Thompson: The Composers’ Fund
HEROINES OF OPERA
Using PRS Foundation funding, Shirley J. Thompson will complete the opera, Dido Elizabeth Belle, to add to her groundbreaking opera cycle, Heroines of Opera, with this award from the Composers’ Fund. The series is already in great demand after productions staged at the Venice Biennale; the Washington Art Gallery; Kenya National Theatre; the Edna Manley Theatre, Jamaica; King’s Place, London; Tete A Tete: the Opera Festival; et al. Described as filled with “…gripping material…” (Opera Magazine) and “…striking and powerful…” (Planet Hugill), the opera series will continue to highlight submerged historical narratives of female icons of recent African heritage as well as creating strong female leads rather than the conventional femme fatale engrained in the opera cannon.
Shirley J. Thompson’s wide range of orchestral, vocal and operatic music is performed worldwide and often described as “…powerful and beautiful…’ (Le Figaro). She has ignited much excitement with the “striking” Heroines of Opera series for solo singer/s, speaker/s, dance, video and orchestra that feature iconic women in history that have been mostly overlooked in mainstream historical narratives. This innovative series overturns the operatic convention of women in morally weaker roles or as femme fatales. As well as developing previously submerged narratives into stage performances, she has created lecture/performances, presenting them at a variety of universities and venues such as the such as the South Bank Centre, the Maritime Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.