raised of £400 target
35% 22 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by July 12th 2019 at 1:00pm

To put on a hiphop foxtrot operatic sketch comedy, with love, death, Macbeth, and a pantomime camel! And a new kind of comic opera.

by Virtually Opera in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

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.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

3 of 100 claimed

A Clear Message

All of the above, and a free ticket to a show.

£5 or more

Audience Interaction

We will thank you on Twitter and Facebook, you will feature on our list of patrons, and you will receive weekly updates about the progress of the show.

£10 or more

Meaningful Community Outreach Work

All of the above, and we’ll invite you to our special patrons’ social in London and Edinburgh, as well as sending you a PDF of the libretto & poster, and a link to a playlist of music that inspired us to make the perfect opera.

£30 or more

Audience Research

All of the above, and we’ll invite you to a special livestreamed Q&A, where you can ask us questions about the show, give your input, and shape the development of the show.
 We’ll also post you a poster for the show.

£40 or more

A Depressing Moral

All of the above, and we’ll send you an all-cast signed copy of Leo’s Manifesto For A New Comic Opera, which started off this whole project. 
You’ll also be consulted in Virtually Opera’s planning for our 2020-2021 activities, shaping what we do for the next year.

£50 or more

Pointless Allusions

All of the above, and Leo will write a Shakespeare-style sonnet or monologue in your honour (your choice) in honour of Macbeth, our protagonist. We’ll also post you a DVD of the show, with extra content from our creative team.

£75 or more

Exploitation of Artists

All of the above, and we’ll programme the aria of your choice for Virtually Opera’s next series of films (aria must be out of copyright). You’ll also be sent a PDF preview of the libretto for Virtually Opera’s next new opera, The Percy’s Opera.

£100 or more


All of the above, and an invitation to Virtually Opera’s annual planning meeting to help steer the future development of this show and the company. We’ll also give you two front-row seats to a show of your choice (depending on availability).

£250 or more

Law Vs. Love

The finished score lays down the law. The singers’ love occasionally breaks that law. You’ll know, with your very own all-cast signed copy of the score (and everything above).

£500 or more

A Pantomime Camel!

All of the above, and we will stitch your name into the Pantomime Camel’s hump - everyone will know how much you helped us.
And our director will hand-craft you a pantomime camel toy. Please note that Leo’s sewing skills are… limited.

£1,000 or more


All of the above, and a private dinner with Leo and Peter to discuss the show, how to make it better, and how we can tailor it to fit your interest in the show.

£10,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

One Character Screaming Another Character's Name

Truly, you are the greatest patron since Joseph II helped Mozart. This is enough to put on the whole show, and your name will be shoehorned into the premiere run of the opera, screamed dramatically.

Let's make 'The Perfect Opera' happen

Payment and personal details are protected