About this project
WOCo's Emerging Artists perform Puccini
On August 5,7 & 8 2015 WOCo will bring together 24 Emerging Artists to perform Puccini's charming comic masterpiece Gianni Schicchi together with a newly created prologue using other of Puccini's music, all brought together by Director Stephen Taylor and Musical Director Guy Hopkins. The production can be seen at an open rehearsal in London on 30th July and at the performances at the Château de Panloy in Port d'Envaux, Charente Maritime, France.
WOCo was born out of a visit to the Château de Panloy 8 years ago. Guy Hopkins, Musical Director, had a hunch, standing in the courtyard, testing the acoustic that it would be a perfect venue for outdoor opera. Fortunately the owner, the Marquis de Grailly (now, together with the internationally acclaimed tenor Ian Bostridge, a WOCo Patron), was willing to open up his home to this shared endeavour. After the success of our first production – Handel’s Acis & Galatea in 2009, we never looked back, forming WOCo which linked London-based emerging professionals with professionals in opera, music, design and opera production plus an idyllic venue in France.
So what is WOCo and what does it do?
WOCo aims to produce opportunities for emerging young professional singers, players and design and stage teams. These young artists of all nationalities are frequently completing or have recently completed advanced studies at the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Opera Studio, or Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Not only is WOCo providing a valuable learning experience in terms of operatic training but the unique venue and the esprit de corps of performing as a travelling company is very, very special. We want to develop as a company and perform more widely in France, but more importantly, start performing regularly in the UK. For now we are focusing our efforts on:
- Securing funds for the 2015 production of Gianni Schicchi
- Letting more people know about what WOCo does and why
- Building a sustainable platform from which to continue WOCo's Emerging Artist Programme
Risks and challenges
The greatest risk to the 2015 production of Gianni Schicchi is being unable to raise sufficient funds to support the 24 Emerging Artists (singers, players, designers and production team members) who have been accepted onto the programme this year. We need £500 per Emerging Artists to support their training, accommodation and subsistence plus £6,000 for the typical opera production costs of set construction, costume & prop hire, minibus hire to transport the show to France, marketing and other production costs. We always keep our costs to a minimum and maximise the use of volunteer support from our company directors and others, but it nevertheless takes funds to ensure the highest standards of mentoring experience and production values for each performance.
In the main our challenges are overcome by the fantastic esprit de corps developed in the process of building an opera. As our Patron Ian Bostridge said at a recent WOCo event,
"It’s never been more important to support emerging artists – musicians, singers, designers and everyone else who contributes to the total spectacle of opera. It’s particularly important that artists have real opportunities to perform and produce early in their career."Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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