opera for change
opera for change
Opera for Change is about stories and songs. It’s about people and it’s about harnessing the power within everyone to learn, to collaborate, to inspire and to change.
In August 2015 Opera for Change will create a major cross-arts festival in Nairobi, Kenya. Performers will come from all over the world to work together to mount a fully-staged performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute, a concert of Mozart’s Requiem and a Gala concert featuring some of the finest talents in Classical and Popular music. The world’s top musicians, singers and artists will sit side-by-side the next generation of their African counterparts and as well as working together towards these large-scale performances, we will encourage and facilitate many smaller collaborative shows, workshops and discussions.
Fine artists from Uganda will join forces with tapestry makers from the East Cape of South Africa to create set designs and costumes for a new version of the Magic Flute. On stage, singers from the world’s greatest opera houses will duet with the emerging talents from Botswana, Nairobi and Kampala, while in the pit, the Orchestra will draw players from across Europe, USA, Australia and Africa conducted by Daniel Harding - one of the world’s most gifted conductors.
A successful festival requires teamwork and we are busily assembling a team like no other. Over the last few years, we have been building links with arts organisations, schools, communities and individuals in Eastern and Southern Africa as well as Mumbai, India. Our pilot project involved 6 weeks on the road from Nairobi to Cape Town. We visited, learned from, taught and performed with our partners in Nairobi, Kenya; Kamapala, Uganda; Arusha and Bagamoyo in Tanzania; Lilongwe, Malawi; Lusaka, Zambia; Gabarone, Botswana; Johannesburg, Cape Town and Hamburg, South Africa. From now on, a carefully selected group of our performers, artists and educators will be making periodic trips back to continue this work in readiness for our joint festival in 2015. We will bring our local partners together in Nairobi to work not only with us but with each other. We will create a platform to showcase their individual talents and their specific approaches to common social problem as well as providing an environment for collaboration, dialogue and sharing of ideas.
The Real Work
There is an immediate joy while singing and playing music that allows you to escape from the world, while still connecting to people. The secondary benefits are where the real power to change lies. When you spend time with children working together to create something beautiful and inspiring, they learn to trust you, to trust each other and to taste the benefits of cooperation, application and generosity. They can have something of which to be proud, something to share and something to teach. Working in this field creates a world of imagination, of healing and of growth and the transferable skills are considerable. Music creates partnerships, nurtures leaders and fosters trust and cooperation.
Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. We feel that in order for that power to be sustained, ideas need to be shared, communicated and passed on. Opera is our means of communication and its all encompassing artistic language is our vehicle for change and the time is now.