When British women were allowed into full combat roles in 2016, we wondered if it was the first time women had fought for Britain, given all the hullabaloo about women being soldiers. Turns out it wasn’t. So we decided to turn our discovery into an opera. Opera has almost no examples of women running the narrative, surviving to curtain, or being successful leaders and warriors as well as lovers and divas. We're changing that now.
DEAD EQUAL is an opera brought to you by female led team Palmer and Hall Music Ltd about the heroic women who serve in the Royal Army Medical Corps today and the only British woman to serve in combat in the First World Warm, Flora Sandes and her best friend Emily Simmonds; a nurse and aid worker who saved thousands of lives on the Allied Front.
Dead Equal will be premiered and performed over 19 performances at the Edinburgh Festival 2019 at Summerhall's unique Army@TheFringe Venue in a real life Army Reserve Centre! We have also lined up a tour in 2019/20 across arts venues and army barracks in association with The British Army.
What we’ve done already:
- Written a sixty minute opera without being paid a penny
- Run five vocal and dramatic workshops with industry input to test the show
- Cast an international group of diverse, ass kicking, golden throated opera singers
- Hired an all female, award winning creative team (note, doing one of these things in our industry is ground breaking, doing both is exceptional, and we want to make it standard)
- Won significant grants and in kind support from The British Army, ENO, the Canada Arts Council, Gemma Classical Music Trust and Help Musician's Fusion Fund.
- Created a partnering photo exhibition to tour with the show
- Lined up a tour
- Created a champagne show on a beer and chips budget
What we’ll do with the money:
- Build a set straight-off that can withstand a tour, which is financially and environmentally more sound
- Keep standard ticket prices low in our first run whilst paying LIVING wages to our entirely pro team, who are all emerging female artists
- Allow us to pay for exhibition costs to print and mount the partnering photo exhibition, LIVE EQUAL alongside the show.
Extra Funding beyond our first run production costs will allow us to:
- Draw in match funding from the army and guarantee their support for a full national tour as well as potential match funding from other large grant organisations
- Hire a producer for the tour, so that Rose (Hall) & Lila (Palmer) can sleep
- Allow us to begin planning the tour during the first run, creating project efficiencies and allowing us to lock down our cast (since opera schedules are typically made two years in advance).
Palmer and Hall Music Ltd incorporated 25 February 2019, a nonprofit 100% female led performing arts company presenting work Rose Miranda Hall and Lila Palmer. As well as generating income through ticket sales they will also seek venues to take on their work as well as looking for commissions for new work. Work at Palmer and Hall Music in the future includes 'The Jewel Merchants', a collaborative community opera written alongside mental health service users as well as a couple of top secret projects!