The award-winning education department of English Touring Opera delivers about 250 workshops and interactive performances each year for nearly 10,000 people of every age and ability. The scope of our work is exceptionally broad, and includes residential in-school projects, commissioned new operas for young people, full-scale community operas, and creative work for people with dementia. These different strands of work complement the productions of the company on the stages of the venues we travel to across the UK.
Typically we create two brand new operas each year, one for primary schools and families, and the other for young people with special needs. Recent operas have included In the Belly of the Horse and Laika the Spacedog, both for children aged 7-11, and highly interactive, backed up by comprehensive resources for teachers. These operas won the PRS David Bedford Award in 2012. Meanwhile for special schools we have created in the last few years Midnight Moon, RedBlueGreen and Spin, all of which have toured the UK and have travelled to the Philharmonie in Luxembourg. These multi-sensory pieces are largely non-verbal, and look to engage with the most severely disabled and autistic audiences.
The company is known for producing community operas, typically involving about 200 local people, of every age and ability: One Day Two Dawns in Cornwall won the RPS Music Award in 2010 for the best music education project for the previous year. On many occasions choirs join us on stage in our main touring productions. We have also an ongoing commitment to working with people with dementia, and a number of partnership projects (with Turtle Key Arts and the Royal College of Music) take place each year.
ETO has longstanding relationships with schools across the country, and we regularly deliver intense but enjoyable residential projects with pupils and staff, leading to ambitious and fully designed performances of new work, often integrating young people from different schools and of different ages and ability. Meanwhile in partnership with other companies we create work that marries opera with different art forms: Tin (a play with music and now a film) was a major collaboration with Miracle Theatre in Cornwall in 2012.
We are open to every kind of new opportunity and collaboration, and if at all possible work hard to make even the most ambitious dreams become reality.