The Opera House Next Door - Entry 1

As a sound artist and technician my involvement in this opera is a new, exciting and challenging experience for me. After two meetings with the Director of this project, Opera Activist Tania Holland Williams, together we have begun a creative journey of imagination, trouble shooting and art. Fuelled with tea and the occasional piece of cake, the opera begins to take shape in its first stages.

The opera, to be performed by soprano singer Cathy Robinson, is a beautifully written piece of music. Beautifully crafted as a solo piece.

This production of the opera has an exciting and unusual format. The audience will be guided around the performance space, which can range from a private abode to a public space, and will be encouraged to solve puzzles and find clues in various artefacts that reside within the performance space that will unfold the opera before the audiences.

The challenges of this production so far have mainly been in regard to the accessibility of the puzzles and clues to those who have a visual impairment. This is an important characteristic of the production. This follows the previous work of Tania Holland Williams with the Davy Jones’ Locker project in breaking down the barriers between Opera or contemporary classical music and the public.

My own personal development along the course of this production so far has been noticeable. My problem solving skills are really being pushed in such a creative direction. In the past problem solving as a sound technician is dominated by logic and technical detail where there is limited room for elaborate creative thinking. The machine is either routed properly or it isn’t, find the piece that is not cooperating and fix it, the end. But with this production, as an artist and supplementary creative mind, the possibilities of ways in which one can solve a problem are vast. We are able to come up with multiple alternative routes and solutions to the same problem. I like to think of the multiverse theory.

Artist Wendy Dawes will be joining the production team, sharing her specialist skills and knowledge about making art accessible for the visually impaired. We are due to have our first official meeting with Wendy Daws on the 17th of August as well as a meeting with Creative Producer Kevin Grist and Luci Napleton. Updates to follow!

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© 2016 by Elizabeth Hayward.