The Giufà Project

Glyndebourne worked together with Opera Circus, Battle Festival and Crisis Classroom to create The Giufà Project, bringing together all kinds of performers, writers, musicians, dancers, singers and artists.

We took over the town of Battle for ten days in August 2018 and filled it with exciting collaborative artworks and performances. During this time we were in residence at Battle Abbey School with an international team of artists and participants from across Europe creating and sharing art with the local community. A performance event was held in Battle at the end of the residency.

Following the summer residency participants were invited to return to Battle in the autumn for a performance as part of the Battle Festival.

Creative Team

An exciting team of international artists from a range of different disciplines led this project including:

Omar Shahryar – Composer
Howard Moody – Composer
Judith Coleman – Singer
Lucy Bradley – Director
Laura Fatini – Writer/Director
Alister O’Loughlin – Parkour/Movement
Miranda Henderson – Dance/Movement
Tim Corrigan – Visual Art/Film
Annis Joslin – Artist/Filmmaker

Also participating in the project were young artists from Italy and Portugal and other special guest artists.

What is it all about?

Giufà is a character known throughout Europe by many different names (Giufà is his name in Sicily). He is a traveller, a migrant, and offers us the chance to explore the theme of migration through the many folk tales in which he features. You can find out more about Giufà at www.thegiufaproject.com.

The Giufà Project is a collaboration between artists, young people and creative organisations across Europe to explore the theme of migration in the context of the mass movements of people taking place across the planet right now and to deliver new creative work in response. It has been born from The Complete Freedom of Truth (TCFT), a youth programme created by Opera Circus which delivers cultural exchanges, residencies, skills development and leadership to a growing network of young people across Europe and has been commissioned by Glyndebourne as part of the company’s ongoing work to introduce opera to a wider audience.

Migration has become a hot political issue and is driving policy in many nations across the world. Europe in particular is experiencing a cultural crisis, as the continent strives to find a way to include people from the Middle East and Africa into societies already adjusting to the effects of globalisation. Each country and community is approaching this issue in its own way, but at its heart the question remains the same – how do we include new people without losing who we already are?

And yet migration is human. It is part of the human condition. We have always journeyed – for exploration, for knowledge, for trade, curiosity and escape. And as people have moved they have taken their stories with them, mixing them with the local traditions and creating something richer in their place. In Giufà we have found a tangible expression of that movement and this project is a way for us to keep the stories moving in the 21st century.


The Giufà Project is supported through investment from Glyndebourne’s New Generation Programme which invests significantly in developing new audiences and artists of the future.