Operasonic: The Hidden Valley

A new opera for family audiences at St Georges Bristol starring Juice Vocal Ensemble, plus creative participatory schools workshops

We did it!

On 15th Mar 2016 we successfully raised £3,085 of £3,000 target with 60 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

Thank you so much for your amazing support! Any extra money pledged will help us make the project an even bigger success.

FINAL 24hrs REWARD: Give £24 for 5 exclusive photo postcards from the live Bristol shows.


(photos: Claire Shovelton 2013)More pledges will help to to market the show better, to reach bigger audiences and allow us more time to rehearse and develop the show. It will make the project easier to deliver.

New live opera is always a risk! This extra money would give us more of a buffer for ticket sales on each of the three shows. It would help deal with inevitable unforseen expenses and reliance on in-kind support.

Every extra penny would help pay for the creative and administrative team to deliver even better schools workshops and opera shows for Bristol!

The Project

Operasonic and Richard Barnard Productions will deliver 3 performances of a new production of The Hidden Valley for family audiences at St Georges Bristol, and a creative education project to 10 schools across Bristol, including Merchants Academy South Bristol, St Patrick's, Redfield and Horfield Primary.

About The Hidden Valley

Dewi stumbles into a Hidden Valley and falls in love with Ariene, a river princess whose father is not to be messed with! This is a magical world of talking beetles, scheming crows and a search for love against the odds.

“The Hidden Valley will enchant all ages. Creative, inventive and beautiful… An absolute treat! ★★★★★ - Charlotte Valori of Bachtrack

“They held us spellbound" - The Telegraph on Juice Vocal Ensemble



The Hidden Valley delivers a richly imaginative and rewarding opera experience for both children and adults. It was commissioned and developed by Welsh National Opera and first performed at Tête à Tête Festival in London in 2013 to 5-star reviews. It features a cast of 9 singers including the fabulous vocal talents of Juice Vocal Ensemble, with a libretto by one of the 2015 Bruntwood Prize-winners, Alan Harris.

Words | Alan HarrisMusic | Richard BarnardDirection | Rhian HutchingsDesign | Rebecca Wood‘Ariene’ | Laura Pooley'Modred' | Piotr Lempa'Dewi' | Aled Powys Williams‘The Valleys’ | Juice Vocal Ensemble

St George's BristolJune 29th | 6.00June 30th | 6.00July 1st | 7.30Age Guide: 8+Running Time: 1 hr 15 mins

About Operasonic

Operasonic is a not for profit company limited by guarantee that was formed in November 2014 by Creative Director Rhian Hutchings and based in Newport, South Wales. Operasonic is passionate about opera as an artform that connects with people in a direct and visceral way. We create a range of opportunities for young people to explore, create and experience opera, and we put participation at the heart of every creative process we undertake.

About the Schools Project

We will work with Bristol Plays Music and 10 local schools, providing:

  • Introduction to the opera with live excerpts
  • Creative composing and music making led by composer Richard Barnard and two musicians from the touring company.
  • A design project for children to create artwork used to transform the venue into the Hidden Valley.
  • A twilight CPD workshop for teachers on creative music making in the classroom with composer Richard Barnard

Why we need your help

Along with the schools project, we need to fund a 10-day rehearsal period with 9 singers and live ensemble, design the show and costumes, put on and publicise the 3 shows. We already have a generous grant pledged towards this project from Arts Council England, who believe in this project. However, this is dependant on securing match funding. Therefore, we must raise this extra funding to make the project happen.

The Hidden Valley Heroes!

You will become a Hidden Valley Hero by giving £20 or more. You can then join us as VIP partners on our exciting journey as we create The Hidden Valley. You will get:

  • Exclusive access to behind-the-scenes videos, pictures and interviews during rehearsals
  • Exclusive insights into the music and story from the creative team
  • Watch how the characters come to life and the world of the Hidden Valley is created
  • Hear exclusive clips from the children's compositions inspired by the opera

Once you sign up you will receive a password to access this online content. (Don't worry, you won't be bombarded with emails! You can access it when you like.)


Sponsor a Character in The Hidden Valley (SOLD OUT!)

Become a part of this new opera

for £50, you can be the unique sponsor for your chosen character and receive: - A personal card from the character and composer - Your name in the programmes - Exclusive access online to follow your character in rehearsals- A signed poster

Ariene - Laura PooleyA feisty river princess who stands up to her scary father. Always part of the natural world, she finds herself magically turning into different animals and birds.Heard to say: “The ugliest of amphibians!”

The Valleys - Juice Vocal EnsembleOur chorus of the world around us. They are the community, the landscape, the trembling thunder, the rushing river, the widow, the bridesmaid...Heard to say: “All is united on this forest floor”

Dewi – Aled Powys WilliamsAn ordinary man with an extraordinary voice. He finds himself trapped in another, hidden world and finds love. Dogged and determined, we follow him on a life-changing adventure.Heard to say: “How can I unravel a river god’s riddle?”

Modred – Piotr LempaAn immortal river-god. King of the Hidden Valley and Ariene’s over-protective father. Ruling with fear, his past mistakes haunt him and he is desperate not to show his vulnerability.Heard to say: “See how they wrinkle and bend, then turn to worm food!”

The Crow

Modred’s scheming sidekick. Clever and manipulative. Full of self- importance. His song scavenges from other tunes.Heard to say: “I’m central to the action!”

The Two Beetles

Contrasting pair of beetles, one a suave crooner, the other a bumbling brute, who vie for Ariene’s affections.Heard to say: “I’ve the largest collection of dungballs in the valley”

Thanks for your support!

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