Wednesday 3 August 2022

Borka's adventures continue: Ignite Music launches with a new production of Russell Hepplewhite's opera based on John Burningham's book

Ignite Music presents Borka: The Goose with no Feathers by Russell Hepplewhite & Tim Yealland
I caught the premiere performances of Russell Hepplewhite and Tim Yealland's opera Borka: The Goose with no feathers in 2014 when English Touring Opera performed it as the children's opera for its Spring tour (see my review). One of the performers at that premiere was Susan Moore, and she is now one of the artists behind a new company, Ignite Music which plans to launch with a new production of Borka: The Goose with no feathers to celebrate the 60th anniversary of John Burningham's book on which the opera is based. In this short article, Susan has written introducing Ignite Music and its work.

Ignite Music: New Music for Young Minds is a new company dedicated to producing new opera, musical theatre and narrated concerts for family and school audiences.

Ignite is built around a troupe of freelance creatives unified by their passion for working with young people. We combine our skills and knowledge to introduce new music experiences to youth and family audiences. As a pool of skilled practitioners, we tailor our team to the needs of each project.

Our aim is a simple one: to tell stories through music, to share a fully immersive world created for each production, and to entertain and enthral our audiences of all ages. Our ethos is an equal voice and pay for all our team from director to designer, from puppet maker to performer. We seek to produce quality performances using sustainable materials.

For our first project we have been tasked by the John Burningham Estate and Penguin Random House, to produce the centrepiece for the 60th Anniversary of the publication of John Burningham’s picture book Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with no Feathers with a brand-new production of the opera of the same name, originally commissioned by English Touring Opera in 2014. The opera is written by the award-winning team of Tim Yealland (Libretto) and Russell Hepplewhite (Music), the duo that brought you Laika the Spacedog and Shackleton’s Cat. This new production of Borka: The Opera will tour Literary Festivals and local music hubs around the UK in 2023 and will be directed by Ignite’s Artistic Director, Sue Moore.

We are currently fundraising for Stages 1 & 2 of our production, with includes completion of the design process, set and puppet build, auditioning our cast, and a Research & Development workshop for the cast and creative team at Snape Maltings. For more information about us and Borka: the opera, visit our website, or to help us with Stages 1 & 2 of our Fundraising go to our GoFundMe page.

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