Waxwings

A new opera for young people with learning needs in Spring 2015.

Composer 
Clive and Mark Ives
Director & Libretto 
Tim Yealland
Designer 
Ruth Paton
Soprano 
Emily Blanch
Mezzo Soprano 
Katie Grosset
Tenor 
Guy Elliott
Cello, bass, percussion 
Jonathan Kitchen
Film and Animation 
Babis Alexiadis
Dancer 
Ricardo Campos

Waxwings is the latest in ETO’s acclaimed series of operas for young people with special needs. The opera is highly interactive, with lots of multi-sensory elements, and is designed to stimulate and engage with young people with many different and complex needs.

A huge thank you to ETO – the opera was brilliant! Once again our pupils loved it, and your performers obligingly played an encore as one of our pupils wanted the ‘bus stop’ song again! (And they welcomed several of our pupils into the bus queue!). As with ‘Spin’, there was lots of interaction with the pupils, which was great.

Teacher, Strathmore School

The opera features beautiful new music created by Clive and Mark Ives, of the celebrated ensemble Woo Music, with live singing and playing, and lots of interactive design by Ruth Paton. Words and direction are by Tim Yealland. The cast includes singers Guy Elliott, Katie Grosset and Emily Blanch, and cellist Jonathan Kitchen. Babis Alexiadis has created a new animated film for the climax of the show, featuring dancer Ricardo Campos.

We really enjoyed the performance and I got very positive feedback from staff, who felt that there was a good balance of music, singing, action, interactive opportunities, and good changes of mood and pace, all of which help to engage our pupils. Some of the children were able to tell me that they enjoyed it but with others, we can only interpret responses, which indicated real enjoyment and good attention – so thank you!

Assistant Headteacher, The Hall School

I enjoyed all of it. I found the part with the boy not wanting to go to school funny.

Telford College student

The story is about a boy called Olly and his sister Cilla. Olly is autistic and is obsessed with birds. They find a waxwing on their way to their new school and take it with them. Olly’s new teacher immediately takes against him, and the boy struggles with the simplest questions. The teacher hears the little bird in Olly’s pocket and calls for the Headteacher, who turns out to be part human, part Minotaur, with an appetite for small birds. They run with the waxwing to the top of the building to escape, and make wings for Olly made of wax and feathers.

The opera lasts 50 minutes.

Waxwings on CD

You can now enjoy Waxwings at home with this studio recording featuring the original cast of Emily Blanch, Guy Elliott, Katie Grosset and Jonathan Kitchen.

The cost is just £5.99 including postage and packaging.

Click the button below to buy from PayPal.


ETO’s production of Waxwings has been made possible thanks to the generous support of:
Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund
The Wolfson Foundation
The Equitable Charitable Trust
The Sackler Trust
Joyce Fletcher Charitable Trust

Showing At

  1. Strathmore School, London
    5th Mar 2015 - 1:45 pm
  2. The Garden School, London
    6th Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm
  3. Linden Lodge, London
    12th Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm
  4. Pencalenick School, Truro
    18th Mar 2015 - 11:00 am
  5. Victoria Education Centre, Poole
    20th Mar 2015 - 2:00 pm
  6. Tivetshall Primary School, Norwich
    23rd Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm
  7. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich
    24th Mar 2015 - 12:00 pm
  8. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich
    24th Mar 2015 - 2:00 pm
  9. Hall School, Norwich
    25th Mar 2015 - 1:15 pm
  10. Telford College, Shropshire
    13th Apr 2015 - 1:00 pm
  11. Penn Hall School, Wolverhampton
    14th Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm
  12. Bridge School, Ipswich
    17th Apr 2015 - 10:30 am
  13. Bridge School, Ipswich
    17th Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm
  14. Warden's Trust Centre, Suffolk
    18th Apr 2015 - 11:00 am
  15. Ashmount School, Loughborough
    20th Apr 2015 - 1:45 pm
  16. Nether Hall School, Leicester
    21st Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm
  17. St Giles School, Croydon
    6th May 2015 - 11:00 am
  18. Red Gates School, Croydon
    6th May 2015 - 2:00 pm
  19. Manor Green Primary School, Crawley
    7th May 2015 - 1:30 pm
  20. Highfurlong School, Blackpool
    12th May 2015 - 1:30 pm
  21. Alfreton Park Community Special School, Derbyshire
    15th May 2015 - 2:00 pm
  22. Fairview School, Perth
    21st May 2015 - 1:30 pm
  23. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    10th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am
  24. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    10th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am
  25. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    10th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm
  26. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    10th Jun 2015 - 4:00 pm
  27. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    11th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am
  28. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    11th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am
  29. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    11th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm
  30. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    11th Jun 2015 - 4:00 pm
  31. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    12th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am
  32. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    12th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am
  33. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    12th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm
  1. Strathmore School, London — 5th Mar 2015 - 1:45 pm

    Meadlands Drive, Petersham, Richmond, TW10 7ED

  2. The Garden School, London — 6th Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Wordsworth Road, London, N16 8BZ

  3. Linden Lodge, London — 12th Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm

    61 Princes Way, Wimbledon Park, Wandsworth, SW19 6JB

  4. Pencalenick School, Truro — 18th Mar 2015 - 11:00 am

    St Clement, Truro, TR1 1TE

  5. Victoria Education Centre, Poole — 20th Mar 2015 - 2:00 pm

    12 Lindsay Road, Poole, BH13 6AS

  6. Tivetshall Primary School, Norwich — 23rd Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm

    School Road, Tivetshall St Mary, Norwich, NR15 2BP

  7. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich — 24th Mar 2015 - 12:00 pm

    Cottinghams Drive, Hellesdon, Norwich, NR6 6QA

  8. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich — 24th Mar 2015 - 2:00 pm

    Cottinghams Drive, Hellesdon, Norwich, NR6 6QA

  9. Hall School, Norwich — 25th Mar 2015 - 1:15 pm

    St Faith's Road, Old Catton, Norwich, NR6 7AD

  10. Telford College, Shropshire — 13th Apr 2015 - 1:00 pm

    Haybridge Road, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 2NP

  11. Penn Hall School, Wolverhampton — 14th Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Vicarage Road, Penn, Wolverhampton, WV4 5HP

  12. Bridge School, Ipswich — 17th Apr 2015 - 10:30 am

    Heath Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SN

  13. Bridge School, Ipswich — 17th Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Heath Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SN

  14. Warden's Trust Centre, Suffolk — 18th Apr 2015 - 11:00 am

    Ness House, Sizewell, Suffolk, IP16 4UB

  15. Ashmount School, Loughborough — 20th Apr 2015 - 1:45 pm

    Beacon Road, Loughborough, LE11 2BG

  16. Nether Hall School, Leicester — 21st Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Netherhall Road, Leicester, LE5 1DT

  17. St Giles School, Croydon — 6th May 2015 - 11:00 am

    Pampisford Road, South Croydon, CR2 6DF

  18. Red Gates School, Croydon — 6th May 2015 - 2:00 pm

    Farnborough Avenue, South Croydon, CR2 8HD

  19. Manor Green Primary School, Crawley — 7th May 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Lady Margaret Road, Ifield, Crawley, RH11 0DU

  20. Highfurlong School, Blackpool — 12th May 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Blackpool Old Road, Blackpool, FY3 7LR

  21. Alfreton Park Community Special School, Derbyshire — 15th May 2015 - 2:00 pm

    Alfreton Park, Wingfield Road, Alfreton, DE55 7AL

  22. Fairview School, Perth — 21st May 2015 - 1:30 pm

    Fairview School, Oakbank Crescent, Perth, PH1 1DF

  23. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 10th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  24. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 10th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  25. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 10th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  26. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 10th Jun 2015 - 4:00 pm

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  27. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 11th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  28. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 11th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  29. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 11th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  30. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 11th Jun 2015 - 4:00 pm

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  31. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 12th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  32. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 12th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

  33. Philharmonie Luxemburg — 12th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm

    1 Place de l'Europe, 1499 Luxemburg City

Clive and Mark Ives

Clive and Mark Ives

Composer

Brothers Mark and Clive (of Woo Music) have been recording since the mid seventies. They combine acoustic instruments, mainly guitars and clarinets, with electronics in ways that often leave the listener wondering how the music was created. Their sound is unique, but has been described as pastoral, ambient and new age, simultaneously Caribbean, Balkan, Parisian, jazz with psychedelic improvisations, and as ‘pop music for another universe’. Woo Music have re-released five albums of their early work within the past five years, receiving world wide recognition for their recordings from the 70s and 80s. The commission to write music for the Waxwings opera is their first collaboration with the English Touring Opera.

Tim Yealland

Tim Yealland

Director & Libretto

Tim read English at Cambridge, then studied singing at the Guildhall and the Munich Hochschule . His performing career included roles in opera and theatre, including work for Opera Factory, Opera 80, ENO, ROH, Opera North and Chichester Festival. His passion for education has led him to devise and direct projects for all the main opera companies, and many others here and abroad. He has led the education work at ETO since 2003, bringing a particular commitment to integrating special and mainstream schools. He has created 3 community operas for ETO: One Breath (Sheffield), A House on the Moon (Wolverhampton) and One Day Two Dawns (Cornwall). He has also written the libretti for several operas for young people, including Voithia and In the Belly of the Horse.

Ruth Paton

Ruth Paton

Designer

Emily Blanch

Emily Blanch

Soprano

Katie Grosset

Katie Grosset

Mezzo Soprano

Guy Elliott

Guy Elliott

Tenor

Jonathan Kitchen

Jonathan Kitchen

Cello, bass, percussion

Babis Alexiadis

Babis Alexiadis

Film and Animation

Ricardo Campos

Ricardo Campos

Dancer

The performance was fantastic, full of rich, multi-sensory approaches and chances for the students to interact with the performers and the set. The quality of the music, performances and stage production was very high and the performers seemed very conscious of how to interact with our students in an appropriate manner. The performance held the attention and imaginations of the students for the whole time. It’s rare for our students to sit in any one place for almost an hour without needing a break, so it’s testament to the performance and performers that their attention was held for so long. It was a great opportunity for our students to explore and use their imaginations, thanks to the interactive nature of the performance. There was a lot of giggling and cheering coming from the audience which was lovely to hear.

Teacher, The Garden School

Very engaging and interactive. Having lots of things to do during the performance really brought it to life and ‘meeting the real cast’ was particularly great for the students. [The students were given] exposure to opera singing in an accessible format (i.e. not just sitting still and listening) – an exciting sense of being part of the production. We listened to the CD twice in the run-up to the performance and this definitely helped maximise enjoyment as students knew the songs and a little about the storyline. A massive thank you from everyone!

Teacher, Linden Lodge School

We absolutely loved it, the music, the concept, the interaction and the level and accessibility appealed to all our students.

Teacher, Victoria Education Centre, Poole

I didn’t see the boy and girl and I’m not going to tell the nasty teacher!

Student, VEC

Can they come again next week?

Student, VEC

Nearing the end of the show when the audience are encouraged to stand up and ‘take flight’ a young girl with Down’s syndrome came out of the audience to have the film screened on to her tummy. As this was happening she began to move her ‘wings’ and try to fly. The smile on this girl’s face was so broad, and full of joy I leant over to the headteacher of the school to comment on how wonderful it was and he informed me that usually they never saw this girl smile at all. They were amazed by her reactions. It was a truly powerful moment. What opera can achieve, eh?

Education Manager, Norwich Theatre Royal

The class really enjoyed it, they liked the audience interaction. They didn’t want it to end. They were impressed with all the different uses of media, and followed the story without any bits of feeling bored or lost. It was set at a good level. The students enjoyed feeling a part of the performance and having lots of options to join in at different moments. It was set at a good level for them and they liked joining in with the counting etc.

Teacher, Telford College

Showing At

  1. Strathmore School, London
    5th Mar 2015 - 1:45 pm
  2. The Garden School, London
    6th Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm
  3. Linden Lodge, London
    12th Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm
  4. Pencalenick School, Truro
    18th Mar 2015 - 11:00 am
  5. Victoria Education Centre, Poole
    20th Mar 2015 - 2:00 pm
  6. Tivetshall Primary School, Norwich
    23rd Mar 2015 - 1:30 pm
  7. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich
    24th Mar 2015 - 12:00 pm
  8. Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, Norwich
    24th Mar 2015 - 2:00 pm
  9. Hall School, Norwich
    25th Mar 2015 - 1:15 pm
  10. Telford College, Shropshire
    13th Apr 2015 - 1:00 pm
  11. Penn Hall School, Wolverhampton
    14th Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm
  12. Bridge School, Ipswich
    17th Apr 2015 - 10:30 am
  13. Bridge School, Ipswich
    17th Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm
  14. Warden's Trust Centre, Suffolk
    18th Apr 2015 - 11:00 am
  15. Ashmount School, Loughborough
    20th Apr 2015 - 1:45 pm
  16. Nether Hall School, Leicester
    21st Apr 2015 - 1:30 pm
  17. St Giles School, Croydon
    6th May 2015 - 11:00 am
  18. Red Gates School, Croydon
    6th May 2015 - 2:00 pm
  19. Manor Green Primary School, Crawley
    7th May 2015 - 1:30 pm
  20. Highfurlong School, Blackpool
    12th May 2015 - 1:30 pm
  21. Alfreton Park Community Special School, Derbyshire
    15th May 2015 - 2:00 pm
  22. Fairview School, Perth
    21st May 2015 - 1:30 pm
  23. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    10th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am
  24. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    10th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am
  25. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    10th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm
  26. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    10th Jun 2015 - 4:00 pm
  27. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    11th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am
  28. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    11th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am
  29. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    11th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm
  30. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    11th Jun 2015 - 4:00 pm
  31. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    12th Jun 2015 - 9:30 am
  32. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    12th Jun 2015 - 11:15 am
  33. Philharmonie Luxemburg
    12th Jun 2015 - 2:00 pm

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