Friday 14 December 2012

Developments at Co-opera

Co-Opera Co - Hansel and Gretel
Co-Opera Co, the opera company which trains emerging professionals, is going from strength to strength and, building on the success of their 2012 with performances of Hansel and Gretel and Don Giovanni in London and on tour, they have announced that in 2013 their operations will be divided into a two tiered-system. Co-Opera Development Programmes and the Co-Opera Touring company.

This will separate their training into two stages. The Development Programmes are for those in training, coming back into the business after a career break or wanting to explore their craft further. The planned schedule includes master with well known professionals such as David Rendall, Toby Spence, Ryland Davies, John Graham-Hall and Sally Burgess. There is also the Co-Opera Easter Opera, which is described as a self-development programme leading to performances in April 2013, of Puccini's Suor Angelica and Il tabarro directed by Jacquie Crago. (Further details from the Co-Opera Co website). People involved in this will be considered for the Autumn 2013 tour by the Co-Opera Touring Company.

The Co-Opera Touring Company is for those who have proved themselves ready for a career - bridging the gap between leaving college and a fully fledged career - thereby providing the much needed apprenticeship stage for emerging artists. They will be rehearsing in London in Summer 2013 and then touring that Autumn. The operas being planned are The Mikado (directed by James Bonas) and Madama Butterfly (directed by Jacopo Spirei, conducted by Martin Handley). Auditions for the tour are now open on-line, priority will be given to applicants who are at the crucial apprenticeship stage of their career.

All members of the touring company will receive fees, plus expenses for out-of-London performances; no-one is expected to make a financial contribution. Participants in the development programmes do have to pay, though Co-Opera Co do have some sponsorship programmes.

Co-Opera Co was founded to give opera singers training and experience at a critical stage in their career (see my interview with the company's co-founder, Kate Flowers), so it is good to see the company expanding and developing its activities.

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  1. Thanks Robert for this useful article. Seeing the 'young singers' stipulation, I contacted Co-Opera to ask their age limit, and they say their programmes are definitely for emerging singers of all ages, not just for young singers. I'm sure many people would appreciate if you are able to correct that one small point since one gets a bit fed up with ageism in the classical singing profession!

  2. Yes, you're right; I've corrected the article


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