Love! Death! Macbeth! And a pantomime camel!
We were bored of new comic operas that were ‘funny - for opera.’ We want to restart opera’s light music tradition. Before World War Two, composers happily drew on popular music to create comic operas with mass appeal. We believe that it’s time for opera to learn from popular music and comedy again, and make opera for everyone, in a musical and textual language they already understand and enjoy.
And so we made THE PERFECT OPERA. After extensive audience research, we listed everything people demanded in operas, and forced them all into this show. It needs a classic tale, so enter Macbeth. It’s completely original, so he’s on a pantomime camel. And it needs a love story – and Macbeth and his camel are deeply in love. Then Lady Macbeth finds out…
With drag queens, ballet scenes, and social relevance (but not forcing ideas down your throat), this hiphop foxtrot operatic sketch comedy show is (technically) THE PERFECT OPERA.
What have we done already?
- The project started with Leo’s ‘Manifesto For A New Operatic Comedy’ - a list of 10 requirements for 21st-century comic opera.
- We’ve written the list of 49 things an opera needs, the libretto, and the score.
- We got the Francis Chagrin Sound And Music Award to develop project
- We’ve done a successful workshop performance, which one audience member described as “a perfect Fringe hour.”
- We’ve re-written the show based on audience feedback so you’ll see its perfect from this summer
- We’ve secured venues and a fantastic team for our summer shows in London and Edinburgh
- We’ve got £3000 funding secured for the show, and £2000 match funding for this appeal.
- Leo also presented a paper about the opera at the University of York. Which was quite fun.
What’s going to happen?
- We’re currently fundraising and promoting the show to make this summer as successful as possible.
- We want to raise enough to pay everyone involved in the project an Equity Union rate for the whole project. This will make the overall project cost a little over £10,000.
- This summer, we’re going to restart opera’s light tradition - both at the UK’s largest new opera festival, and its largest comedy festival. This project needs us to have a foot in both camps.
- We’re going to share an accessible new opera. That’s more than making yet another new opera and insisting anyone can understand it - we’re mixing contemporary classical and contemporary popular music, and taking it to a place filled with comedy-loving opera newbies.
- We’re inviting touring partners to the show to get them interested in a 2019-2020 tour, allowing us to bring this show to as many people as possible.
- We’re getting our artists access to some fantastic development opportunities, thanks to Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe organisation’s participant programmes. This project allows us to invest in some amazing talents.
And if we raise more than we asked for?
- We’re going to invest that money in that 2019-2020 tour, making it as good as possible. That includes money to create an easily tourable environmentally friendly production, promote the show, and pay the cast.
- If we raise enough, we can start booking singers and venues now, rather than waiting for meetings during the Festivals.
Why can you trust us?
- The team have collectively produced numerous operas and comedy shows, including at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Leo's last Edinburgh Fringe show, ‘At The Break Of Dawn’, was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.
- We're pulling together a fantastic team - brilliant musicians who've performed across the world, and know producing and marketing inside out.
Q: Is this art? (I only watch comedy)
A: No! Musically, we weren't kidding about hiphop-foxtrot fusion. Comedically, if you like people taking the mickey out of Shakespeare, avant-garde propaganda, and blandly commercial shows (while singing a love duet with a pantomime camel), this show is for you.
Q: Is this art? (I'll only come if it's art)
A: Yes! It's a bold new vision for how to revitalise opera's light music tradition, which collapsed after World War Two. Think Der Rosenkavalier meets The Play That Goes Wrong.
Q: Do I have to know anything about opera?
A: No. Really no. Full disclosure: one of the creators has never seen Macbeth or an opera. They still wrote it.
Q: Can I come and be snobbish about opera?
A: There are some easter eggs just for you!
Q: Will I-
A: Look, you two. It's an operatic sketch comedy show. You can both come.