The Power of a Parable
In May 2024, Perth Festival of the Arts wishes to present a new chamber opera, A Child in Striped Pyjamas by composer Noah Max, inspired by John Boyne's bestselling novel and film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. The opera presents a powerful fable of humanity’s innocence through a forbidden friendship between two young children during the Holocaust.
To bring this bold contemporary production to life and present opera to diverse audiences, we need the support of individuals who share our passion for the arts.
Why this Opera is important
Sensitively and creatively composed by London-based British composer Noah Max, A Child in Striped Pyjamas is an important opera of our time. Boyne’s story is a symbolic exploration of one reason why the Holocaust remains so traumatic: it demonstrates to future generations the relentlessly organised barbarity of which humanity is capable. It is powerful parable that will help current and future generations to engage with, and remember, this period in history.
Today, it is crucial that Boyne’s story reaches a new audience through a new medium. Noah's great-grandparents narrowly avoided the terrible fate which befell 6 million Jews in Europe last century. His chamber opera addresses the Holocaust in a way audiences of every age can engage with.
The opera premiered in London last year, selling out weeks in advance, with reviews affirming that this new work in the operatic repertoire was bold, innovative and expertly crafted.
Opera at the Festival
As a Scottish charity, Perth Festival of the Arts is dedicated to bringing the life-enhancing benefits of the arts to people of all ages and backgrounds through an annual Arts Festival in our city. We have a long 50-year history of presenting opera to audiences in Scotland. From large-scale operatic masterworks to chamber operas and more recently, Scots Opera, our Festival programme seeks out exciting productions that engage, inspire and challenge audiences.
We have been working with Noah to develop plans to co-produce his new opera at our 2024 Festival. This will be the Scottish premiere. We have an exclusive window to present this production through the agreement with Miramax, the rights-holder to the story. The performances will take place in Perth Theatre on 22 and 23 May 2024, supported by artistic talks and schools' outreach activity.
The opera will be conducted by Robert Max, directed by Guido Martin-Brandis and will be performed by the original cast of singers and one of the UK's foremost chamber music collectives, Hebrides Ensemble.
Why we need your support
Through this Crowdfunding appeal, we are asking for your support as champions of opera in our culture today, through a one-off donation.
The costs of presenting Festival events, and especially medium to large-scale classical music and opera, increase each year. Costs now significantly outweigh the amount we can charge for tickets and the audience size we can accommodate in Perth, therefore leaving a growing funding gap for each Festival concert: a gap that we must find a way to bridge each year.
To make A Child in Striped Pyjamas a reality, we are looking to raise funds in three ways: through ticket sales; through support from Charitable Trusts who share our aims; and through this important Crowdfunding appeal. The appeal seeks your support as audiences, as Festival Friends, and as individuals across Scotland and the UK who share our passion for the arts and recognise the potential of this opera.
We strive to play our part in keeping opera flourishing and in the hearts and minds of future generations. We are also proud to champion contemporary music, supporting the careers of young excelling composers and singers. We need your support to do this.
What will the donations fund?
Funds raised will support the costs of staging the opera. This includes venue hire, artistic costs for singers and instrumentalists, and production costs such as sound, light, props etc. Donations will support the costs of two performances on 22nd and 23rd May 2024 and a third performance specifically for local secondary schools.
By donating, you will become part of this important event in the Festival’s legacy and help to bring opera to audiences of all ages in 2024. Working with the composer and Artistic Team, we are pleased to offer benefits as a ‘thank you’ for donations of certain sizes. You can also donate an amount of your choosing without a reward.
On behalf of the Festival team, thank you for your interest and your generous support.
Update (6 Nov)
We are grateful to everyone who has donated so far. We are unable to add offline donations to this page's total. We have raised £2,730 in total so far - thank you to all who have donated online or by cheque.