Credit: Rebecca Pitt

Waxwings

A multi-sensory opera about birds, minotaurs and facing our own fears

Composer 
Clive and Mark Ives
Librettist / Director 
Tim Yealland
Designer 
Ruth Paton

First day at school should be exciting and fun. But what happens if you turn up at a school that’s run by a mythical monster? Especially one who hates the very thing that you love – birds! Find out what happens when a boy and girl discover an injured waxwing and try to make it fly again.

Waxwings is the latest in ETO’s acclaimed series of operas for young audiences with special educational needs and disabilities. 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.

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.

Expect some very peculiar characters. Let’s see if we can fly away at the end!

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

Running time: approx. 50 mins

We visit schools, libraries and studio theatres, so if you’d like to book a performance, please contact Daniel Coelho or call 020 7833 2555.

Preview Trailer

Showing At

  1. York Theatre Royal
    30th Mar 2019 - 11:00 am
  2. Nether Hall School, Leicester
    24th Apr 2019 - 11:00 am
  3. Stage Two, Norwich Theatre Royal
    26th Apr 2019 - 11:00 am
  4. National Star College, Cheltenham
    2nd May 2019 - 11:45 am
  5. Lighthouse, Poole
    29th May 2019 - 2:00 pm
  1. York Theatre Royal — 30th Mar 2019 - 11:00 am

    YO1 7HD

  2. Nether Hall School, Leicester — 24th Apr 2019 - 11:00 am

    Netherhall Road, Leicester, LE5 1DT

  3. Stage Two, Norwich Theatre Royal — 26th Apr 2019 - 11:00 am

    18 Chantry Rd, Norwich , NR2 1RF

  4. National Star College, Cheltenham — 2nd May 2019 - 11:45 am

    Ullenwood, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 9QU

  5. Lighthouse, Poole — 29th May 2019 - 2:00 pm

    Kingland Road, Poole, BH15 1UG

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

Librettist / Director

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

Cast

Emily Kyte

Emily Kyte

Emily trained on the Opera Course at GSMD, and previously on the ENO OperaWorks pro-gramme.

Roles include The Secretary The Consul (GSMD), Mere Marie Dialogues des Carmel-ites (GSMD), Mrs Kneebone A Dinner Engagement (GSMD), Genevieve The Long Christmas Din-ner (GSMD), The KingThe Queen’s Lace Handkerchief (Opera della Luna) and Zulma (cover) L’Italiana in Algeri (Garsington). Emily performed the mezzo solo in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella at Barbi-can Hall with the LSSO.

Emily also performed in the female quartet for Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with the LSO, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle at Barbican Hall and at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, broadcast live on BBC radio. She sang the alto solo for Handel’s Utrecht Te Deum and Utrecht Jubilate with the English Chamber Orchestra at St Paul’s Cathedral. Recital venues include Wigmore Hall and St James’ Piccadilly.

Llio Evans

Llio Evans

Winner of the 2015 Leonard Ingrams Award at Garsington Opera, Llio Evans trained at the Wales International Academy of Voice and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Recent highlights include Celia Iolanthe for English National Opera, Iris Semele for Garsington Opera and The Little One in the UK premier of The Golden Dragon (Peter Eötvös) for Music Theatre Wales. Llio also sings the role of Barbe on Chandos’ studio recording of The Beauty Stone (Arthur Sullivan).

Zachary Neal

Zachary Neal

Showing At

  1. York Theatre Royal
    30th Mar 2019 - 11:00 am
  2. Nether Hall School, Leicester
    24th Apr 2019 - 11:00 am
  3. Stage Two, Norwich Theatre Royal
    26th Apr 2019 - 11:00 am
  4. National Star College, Cheltenham
    2nd May 2019 - 11:45 am
  5. Lighthouse, Poole
    29th May 2019 - 2:00 pm

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