Glyndebourne to stage ambitious new community opera in March 2013

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Glyndebourne will stage the world premiere of a new large-scale community opera involving around 90 local people in March 2013.

Imago is a contemporary opera with an inter-generational storyline about an online game in which people can create avatars which represent their ideal selves. Within the game the avatars of an elderly woman and a 15-year-old boy meet and develop a close bond across the generations. It is the latest of Glyndebourne’s innovative education projects and their first large-scale community opera since the hugely successful “ Knight Crew “: in 2010.

The music for Imago is written by composer Orlando Gough, familiar to many for his choir, The Shout. The opera will be directed by Susannah Waters who worked at Glyndebourne as a singer before founding her own production company in Lewes and award-winning designer Es Devlin will be turning the Glyndebourne stage into a cyber-world where characters and locations appear and disappear at the click of a mouse. Es was part of the team behind Knight Crew and more recently designed the closing ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics.

The libretto for Imago is written by Stephen Plaice, who has a twenty year relationship with Glyndebourne:

“Having written the librettos for a number of previous Glyndebourne projects, I am delighted to be working with them again on Imago . There is a great creative team behind the production, and the attention to detail that Glyndebourne affords its community operas is second to none. Glyndebourne education projects have a long history of delivering excellence and working on Imago has been another stimulating experience for me. The exploration of cyber-relationships is a subject that will resonate with many of the young participants who are involved in the project. I have tried to capture the edginess and the excitement of the new digital world, while expressing an intensely human drama, between two people at opposite ends of adulthood.”

As well as recruiting amateur singers to perform in the two community choruses, Glyndebourne is inviting talented young musicians to audition to play in the Imago orchestra alongside professionals from the world-class Aurora Orchestra led by conductor, Nicholas Collon.

Imago will develop amateur talent by challenging performers to tackle demanding musical scores alongside professional singers. They will be supported by the same dedicated and skilled in-house resources that Glyndebourne ensures for all of its main-stage work.

Director Susannah Waters said:“I am delighted to be returning to Glyndebourne to direct Imago . This is a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages from across Sussex to try their luck on the main stage at Glyndebourne; we have a breadth of roles for amateurs and professionals and I am excited about the talented new voices who will add something special to this engaging community opera.”

Imago has been commissioned by Glyndebourne and Scottish Opera has been made possible thanks to support from a number of individuals and organisations, including the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Beyond Borders from the PRS Foundation for Music and the MariaMarina Foundation.

Tickets for Imago go on sale to the public on Monday 22nd October and are priced £7 – £14.

To find out more visit “”: or find the production “on Facebook”: .