The story of Icarus and the minotaur brought to life in a new opera for primary schools and families

Voithia! toured to primary schools and smaller theatre venues across the country in January and February 2008. This was the second in a trilogy of myth-based interactive operas written specially for young people, and followed Crossing the Styx. Voithia! was based on the mixed stories of Icarus, Theseus and the Minotaur, and featured a multi-skilled cast of 5 performers. Singing, multiple instruments, acting, and dancing all combined to bring these famous myths to life. Some 6,000 children took part in about 30 performances of the show, which were fully interactive: cartoons (by Sarah Lenton), participatory songs on CD, and teachers’ packs accompanied the project. The music was by Rachel Leach, TimYealland was the writer/director, and Ellen Dowell the designer. Performers included Maciek O’Shea, Natalie Farmer, Paul Russell, Edmund Connolly and Kevin Grogan. Dominic, aged 10, wrote: ‘It made me feel like I was being sucked into every second of it.’ One teacher wrote: ‘Seeing this restored my faith in human nature’. Another: ‘Superb! The children were enthralled.’

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