Talent Development Partner 2017: Mahogany Opera Group
Various Stages is a research and development programme, which creates new opera in new ways. It sits at the heart of Mahogany’s mission to stretch the boundaries of what opera can be and who it is for, encouraging creators to experiment, think about context and ultimately create work that is more relevant to audiences.
The traditional processes for creating opera are often closed and confined to paper, with little opportunity for composers to collaborate. Various Stages throws the process wide open. The programme encourages collaborative working between composers directors, writers and performers. It gives creators the resources to try out ideas in real-time through workshops and showcasing.
An annual festival brings together audiences of critical friends, promoters, potential partners and the general public, building interactions with audiences and partner organisations into the process of developing new work. Creators gain invaluable insight at crucial moments during making, and have the chance to garner interest from producers, increasing the likelihood of a future life for the works.
In 2017-18, Various Stages includes:
Various Stages Festival
A festival of new work in development. Projects, including four selected via open call, are given the infrastructure and creative support to start exploring their piece and then present a 15-minute extract at the festival. Each showcase is followed by a discussion session with the audience of industry professionals and general public.
A series of workshops in partnership with organisations across five UK regions, as part of Mahogany’s nationwide opera-making project for young people – Snappy Operas. From autumn, five composers, along with writers and directors, will each work with 30 schoolchildren to develop five new mini-operas. The finished pieces will be premiered in a series of performances across the country in spring 2018.