Manchester Opera Ensemble, a collective of young professional opera singers, is collaborating with the Women's Equality Party to produce a new production of Puccini's Suor Angelica. We are using the piece to raise awareness for issues of abuse against Women in the UK and hoping to raise enough money to fund all of our artists fees and outgoing costs, if successful we will be able to donate 100% of out ticket money to Manchester Women's Aid, making a real difference to the lives of women in these horrible circumstances.
The story, set originally in 17th Century, centers around Angelica, a girl who is sent to the convent after becoming pregnant, bringing 'shame' upon her family. During the opera, her Aunt visits the convent after 7 years of silence and tells Angelica of her son's death. This sends her into a dramatic spiral and results in her eventual suicide.
We have decided to set the story in the present day, in the context of a Women's Resource Centre. Instead of nuns, the characters will be victims of abuse, come together through their journey towards rehabilitation. The religious content will not be ignored but reworked in a means that can shed light on the positive and negative aspects it can play in the world today, especially in relation to gender.
We believe that this activity can achieve a great deal. Gender inequality is hard to ignore given the reels of statistics that we have to hand. However, it is still an issue which is overlooked or misunderstood. I believe that the project can raise awareness of the good that the Woman's Equality Party are doing to tackle these issues, and the money raised from tickets, if this application is successful will be donated to Manchester Women's Aid, making a tangible difference to real women's lives.
If successful in this project, we will have created an opera production which is bigger than the piece alone and can send a resonant message to audience members and participants alike, encouraging them to further investigate the issues and what they can do to help.
After a successful fundraising event on November 18th, we have managed to raise the money to cover our Piano hire and delivery.
Here is a breakdown of what we're looking to raise:
£160 for rehearsal spaces booked
£190 for box office fees
£75 contribution per performer (13 cast, 1 assistant director, 1 musical director)W
WEP share - Equal to a performers fee.