Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Help fund Shackleton's Cat

Borka the Goose with no Feathers
Borka the Goose with no Feathers
Having given us dogs in space and a bald goose, English Touring Opera is now looking to give us Shackleton's cat. Marking the bicentenary of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition and keying into a number of areas in the National Curriculum, ETO plan to creat a new children's opera which will go into schools and libraries across the UK in 2015 giving up to 8,000 children their taste of opera. I have attended two previous ETO children's operas, Laika the Spacedog (see my review) and Borka the Goose with no Feathers (see my review) and have been impressed not only with the music (in both cases by Russell Hepplewhite) but how the pieces really engaged the young audiences and brought in all sorts of non-musical elements (science in Laika, nature in Borka)

Mrs Chippy with Perce Blackborow
Mrs Chippy
with Perce Blackborow
Now ETO are looking for support for their new project, and on 4 December will be joining in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, whereby all money given (up to a certain amount) is doubled. You have to participate from 10am, and it stops when the matching funding runs out with further goes on 5 and 6 December. You can get more information from the project page on the Big Give, and ETO's own website.

In fact, the cat was called Mrs Chippy and was a large tiger-striped tabby and HE accompanied the expedition from 1914 to 1917. Unfortunately the cat, and the sled dogs, were shot after the expeditions ship was destroyed after being trapped in pack ice. As might be gather by the cat's name, he was brought on board by the ship's carpenter.

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