Friday 29 May 2020

We will not make art in isolation: Tête à Tête - a manifesto and a festival for 2020

Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival
For over 20 years each Summer, Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival has been bringing people together to create new opera. From the very beginning, the festival has been about much more than performance. It brings creative artists and performers together to talk about opera, imagine it, create it and experiment with ideas about what opera is exactly, with the festival being as much about the creative act, with operas in various states from tentative beginnings to the fully formed. This year will be no different, despite lockdown.

Tête à Tête and artistic director Bill Bankes-Jones have produced a Manifesto for a real opera festival in an imaginary world. Essentially it is a document supporting the idea of the creation of opera in whatever the circumstances, 'We are artists who create opera', 'We can do anything', 'We work together, and together with our audiences. We will not make art in isolation', 'This can be a real space, or a space in our imaginations'.

So the 2020 festival will be about the creation of opera, whether in a real space or a space of imagination. Bankes-Jones and the team are working towards a real festival, in a real place (The Cockpit Theatre) later this year, but situations and circumstances change. And the fundamental idea about Tête à Tête is that artists come together, in whatever the space.

So Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2020 will indeed be going ahead - whether by the act of imagination, or in an eventual real physical space. Both online and offline, artists and companies involved in the festival will share the creative work behind their imaginary operas, from the draft libretti to the visual references that inspire them.

Further information from their website.

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