I have just spent a week workshopping my upcoming opera at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. The opera creation process has received support from the European Network of Opera Academies (enoa) and the Gulbenkian Foundation.
You can read about this opera project on the enoa website here, also quoted below:
Queering Opera is a joyous project aiming to depict queer (LGBTQ+) experiences through opera, and to do so queerly. Its source material is real-life stories, collected ethnographically; the compositional, staging and design processes are multistylistic, conceived to challenge traditional models of expression and spectatorship. Diversity and representation are ensured through a rich network of collaborations, with a particular focus on ungendering voice and on the possibilities offered by trans voices.
Jorge Balça – theatre & opera director / academic
Alannah Marie Halay – composer / academic
Rachel Hann – designer / academic
You can read more about this project in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures News magazine here (a snippet is quoted below):
Here is a short documentary video that was made during the workshops in Lisbon:
Here is a list of cast and performers that have helped us workshop Act 1 Finale (piano reduction) of the opera so far:
- JO (protagonist, mezzo-soprano) performed by Hester Dart.
- MUM (soprano) performed by Lara Martins.
- DAD (baritone) performed by Rui Baeta.
- DRAG QUEEN 1 (jazz, cabaret) performed by Kate O’Donnell.
- DRAG QUEEN 2 (countertenor, bass) performed by Jorge Balça.
- Piano: Cândido Fernandes.
- Libretto and Stage Direction by Jorge Balça.
- Music and Conducting by Alannah Marie.
- Scenography (more to come on this during the creation process!!) by Rachel Hann.
- Gulbenkian Foundation workshop videographer (see above video): James Newitt.
Here is a gallery of snapshots from the week of workshops and final presentation.
I am also talking in depth about my compositional process behind this opera on my YouTube channel which can be viewed at YouTube.com/AlannahMarie.
The individual playlist can be watched here. This playlist comprises a series of videos that document the process of writing an opera. It includes all things to do with producing an opera including planning, applying for funding, pitching the opera to opera houses, workshopping, composing, and performing the opera!