Thursday, 27 February 2020

Opera Circus' premiere of Nigel Osborne's Naciketa on shortlist for 2020 FEDORA Opera prize

Opera Circus: Naciketa
It is always heartening when smaller companies are recognised for their valuable work, so I was pleased to see that Opera Circus has been shortlisted for this year's FEDORA Opera prize, alongside the Royal Opera.

FEDORA, The European Circle of Philanthropists of Opera and Ballet, is an organisation which aims to support the renewal of opera and ballet. It offers three prizes that are awarded to promising teams who collaborate on the creation of new opera or ballet co-productions, and on the involvement and education of new and young audiences. The 2019 Opera prize was won by Philip Venables' opera Denis & Katya which was premiered by Opera Philadelphia in a co-production with Music Theatre Wales and Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier.

The shortlist for the 2020 opera prize includes 10 companies, two from the UK. One is the Royal Opera House, for Kaija Saariaho's Innocence, a co-production between five companies which will premiere in Aix-en-Provence in July 2020. The other is Opera Circus for Nigel Osborne's Naciketa, which will premiere at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2021. The co-producing partners include a fascinating range of organisations from the UK, Italy and India, see the FEDORA website for details.

Naciketa has a libretto by playwright Ariel Dorfman, inspired by the Upanishads, the Brahmin spiritual texts in which two protagonists, Music, and the boy, Naciketa, wrangle with Death/Yama, but also inspired by the fate of the lost children of our time; child prostitutes, child soldiers and those orphaned through oppression and conflict. The libretto marries the traditional musical forms with a storyline that takes place in communities which Osborne has come to know as an aid worker and whose human rights Dorfman has defended.

You can read more about Naciketa, and vote for the project, at the FEDORA website.

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