A Snappy Opera is a ten-minute opera for children which introduces all the essential elements of opera – singing, acting and making – in fun, colourful and bite-sized chunks. Mahogany Opera has commissioned some of the UK’s top composers and writers to create Snappy Operas with children from across the UK – by working directly with young people to develop the stories and characters, the opera’s themes are universal, resonating with both the children who developed them and the future groups who perform them.
During a Snappy Operas project, children aged 7-11 have the opportunity to create their own ‘Snappy Opera Company’, exploring the key elements of opera through a series of workshops. The children learn how to sing safely, combine music & movement and also design & create their own props & costumes. The Snappy Opera Company works hard over a term to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence before they are joined by a small orchestra to perform their opera on stage, sharing their achievements and their newfound love for opera.
Professional arts educators provide training and learning opportunities to teachers through a bespoke model of continued professional development. This helps the teachers to support the project when it happens in the school, but also give them the skills and confidence to teach the arts independently, as well as use the same techniques to support other areas of the curriculum. A range of useful online resources are also made available to help the children and teachers through their journey, designed to make learning easy and fun!
‘A key element in our music strategy is for students to work with professional artists, to perform in inspiring venues and to experience a professional rehearsal process – this project delivered that in spades!'
Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub
In 2019 Mahogany Opera held its inaugural Snappy Opera Festival, working with six regional partners to engage 750 children & 47 teachers from 21 schools across the country. A team of 39 creative practitioners and musicians helped the children to stage 41 performances in schools and venues, with audiences of around 3,500, celebrating the young people’s newfound confidence and love of opera.
In 2020 we have commissioned two new Snappy Operas in partnership with Hull Music Service and North Tyneside Music Education Hub. Composer Raymond Yiu and writer Russell Plows will develop their opera with children from Hull and composer Pippa Murphy and writer Karine Polwart will develop their opera with children from North Tyneside. Read more about the new commissions HERE. These two new Snappy Operas are commissioned in partnership with Hull Music Service and North Tyneside Music Education Hub and kindly supported by PRS Foundation's The Open Fund, Dr Joan Hester and the Finn Family Fund.
These new Snappy Operas will receive their world premieres in 2021/2022 when the Snappy Opera Festival returns. With partners already confirmed in North Tyneside, Hull and Leicester, we hope to engage even more young people with opera, developing skills, instilling confidence and igniting a lifelong love of the arts.
You can find out more about Snappy Operas HERE. If you would like to get your school, music hub or venue involved in Snappy Operas please contact our Children & Young People Producer on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Snappy Operas offers an unforgettable experience that brings the power and joy of music and theatre into the classroom and onto the stage, bringing children onto the stage and families into theatres across the UK.
Please help us to MakeItSnappy by supporting us through a one-time or regular gift. Find out more about how to support Mahogany Opera and the work we do HERE.