Opera for Change
Opera for Change is about stories and songs. We are going to stage a major cross-arts festival in Nairobi in 2015 with a team of international artists and partners from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Europe, Australia, the United States of America and beyond. The festival will be based around a fully staged, world-class production of Mozart's Opera "The Magic Flute". There will be a concert performance of Mozart’s Requiem involving massed choirs from across the world and our International Festival Orchestra. Throughout the week long festival, we will be showcasing our local partners and curating collaborations between themselves and our international musicians. This work will begin from now as we send singers, musicians, conductors, artists and teachers to work with each of our partners in advance.
Our programme of workshops, performances and community-based events will draw on the indigenous music, stories and cultures that we have met along our journey so far. Each collaboration will not only mould the resulting performance of The Magic Flute, but also build links and partnerships which we plan to develop into longer term community arts schemes, both locally and internationally. We’ll be looking at what it truly means to collaborate interculturally. Together, we can create something unique and lasting.
Together we can tell a better story.
At the Safaricom Jazz Festival in Nairobi 2014
In 2013 Opera for Change was able to arrange for Botswanan Tenor Boyce Batlang to go to Stockholm to perform a supporting role in a production of the Magic Flute. As part of the Baltic Sea Festival, Boyce joined a cast of world-class soloists and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Daniel Harding. Pictured here, Boyce is singing with Christiana Karg, Andrew Staples, and Vuyani Malinde.
Keiskamma Music School, SA
Opera for Change was set up in 2011 by Andy Staples, Louis Watt, Poppy Savage and Sarah Harvey. Together with a wider group of volunteers, they are giving their time and energies to make this project happen. Brought together by a common interest in music, story-telling, cultures, communities, travel, and the need to achieve something other than success in their own careers, the team meet regularly in London and keep in close touch from where ever they are in the world.
Andy Staples is an Opera singer and Director. He has a performing arts company called Vignette Productions. Andy sings at Opera Houses such as the Royal Opera House, Hamburg State Opera and La Monnaie in Brussels with conductors such as Daniel Harding, Simon Rattle, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and sings concerts in venues like Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, The Philharmonie, Berlin, the Sydney Opera House and the KKL in Lucerne, with orchestras such as the LSO, Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Swedish Radio Orchestra. With Vignette, he has directed and produced touring productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, La bohème, La Cenerentola; a production of Dido and Aeneas in Wilde Renate (a techno club in Berlin) with Kiez Oper; and a staged concert version of The Magic Flute at the KKL in the Lucerne Festival with Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He is a trustee of the Choir of London with whom he works and performs in the Palestinian Territories. www.ajrstaples.com
Louis Watt is a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group where he specialises in business strategy, social entrepreneurship and healthcare. He is passionate about the performing arts and has worked on several start-ups in the area, most notably Aurora Orchestra which he co-founded in 2005 and of which he is now Chairman, winning a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best new ensemble in 2011. Louis is also an executive producer with Vignette Arts and a trustee of the Arab British Centre. In 2011 he was asked to advise on the development of UK arts policy for DCMS and the Arts Council.
Poppy Savage is a Director of Specialised Travel Ltd, the world's leading provider of travel services for the performing arts. She handles the travel and logistics for international tours and tailor-made projects for individuals, groups, charities, private firms, orchestras and performing artists. She has over 12 years experience in working with artists and major arts organisations on an international scale. Managing the touring choral events for Concerts from Scratch and, working as a manager with ACFEA Legato Tours, she has designed and coordinated customised concert tours for semi-professional and amateur music ensembles throughout the world. Her bespoke projects for select development clients include the Patrons of British Arts Organisations such as the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre, the Academy of Ancient Music and the Hallé Orchestra.