Think you can write an opera? The ENO is looking for you

Gone are the days of stuffy 18th century operas of powdered wigs and prima donnas, opera companies have for years been attempting to put new life into classic operas and commission new works.

Even Rufus Wainwright and Damon Albarn have created their own new operas to appeal to those well-versed in the medium and bring opera to new audiences.

Now, the English National Opera (ENO) has launched a worldwide talent search for people to get inspired and create ten mini operas.

It is looking for composers, scriptwriters and filmmakers for three connected compositions to find future stars of opera.

The competition will start on March 26th with the writing round. Entrants must create a script based on three example storylines provided by judges Will Self, AL Kennedy and Neil Gaiman. The scripts of ten finalists will then be used by entrants of the composition category to write an original score to the stories.

Ten finalists will be picked by composer Nico Muhly and ENO music director Edward Gardner before the competition is open to filmmakers who must then show their vision using one of the ten compositions, completing the mini operas. This round will be judged by legendary director Terry Gilliam.

Finally, in the autumn, Gilliam will choose one winner from each category and they will be mentored by leaders in their field.

The winning composer will have the opportunity to learn from Two Boys composer Nico Muhly.

Gilliam, who directed the opera The Damnation of Faust for the ENO, commented: “Opera is really, really hard to do well. I know. I want people to find it out for themselves.

“I want to find future stars who can work with this ridiculous, stupefying, insane, wonderful art form. Good on ENO for trying to find anyone mad enough to have a go.”

Do you think Mini Operas will reinvent the medium for future generations? Do you fancy trying your hand at writing one?

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