The first world premiere to be presented at Garsington Opera (Wormsley, Buckinghamshire, UK) will be Road Rage, a community opera involving over two hundred amateur performers from local schools and the community, working alongside professional singers and young orchestral players from Southbank Sinfonia, for three performances only on 19 July, 7pm and 20 July 2013, 2.30pm and 7pm.
Richard Stilgoe (satirist and writer) and Orlando Gough (composer) have created an intricate and fun community piece for a mixed age group, with themes drawn directly from schools and community groups local to Wormsley. The piece includes challenging choruses for slaves, activists and villagers, a youth chorus of rapping red kites from schools in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, and songs for animals and trees performed by children from Stokenchurch Primary, Chalgrove Community Primary and Ibstone C of E Infant School. The three Road Rage performances will enable over two-thousand-three-hundred people to attend the opera at Wormsley, drawn from the Turville Schools Trust, pupils from participating schools, and primary schools involved recently with Garsington Opera Education including Stadhampton, Ewelme, Watlington, RAF Benson, and Lewknor, many of whom will not have experienced an operatic performance before.
The most ambitious project undertaken so far by the education team, Road Rage is a culmination of work over the last ten years and a springboard to expand the education programme, develop new partnerships locally and attract individuals who would not necessarily consider performing in public or being involved in a similar project.
Richard Stilgoe, co-writer of Starlight Express and Cats commented:
'One minute you are on the M40 being dive bombed by red kites; the next you are in the peace and beauty of Wormsley, surrounded by ancient trees. This contrast was the starting point in which a community stands up and sits down for what it believes in. Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire must feel it has been singled out for transport schemes - the Romans built the Icknield Way through it, the Georgians dug the Grand Union Canal, the twentieth century drove the motorway through the chalk hills and the 21st century threatens HS2.'
Posted: 6 July 2013
by Clare Adams
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