I am thrilled to share my good news with you all finally. For several years now, I have had a deep desire to create an Opera Production which can be enjoyed across the full hearing spectrum. The idea for the Opera developed from my album “Down The Rabbit Hole”. I took the opportunity presented by the Covid-19 lockdown to rewrite the rhymes I had used on the album and enhance them with recitative and new lyrics allowing me to try out arias as well as songs. After speaking with a mentor that I connected with through the Royal College of Music Mentorship Program, I realised I needed to take on more skills to enable me to progress the project. Miguel’s belief in me gave me the confidence to persevere with my dream and keep pushing to see it through to the end.
I applied to the Arts Council England Develop Your Creative Practice for a small grant to develop my idea and take on some of the skills needed to make my dream a reality. Using this grant, I was able to complete a week of R&D on the project in February this year, following which I was even more determined to try and bring the project to fruition. I started planning and fundraising, and with fingers and toes crossed, I submitted an application to the Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants to see if they would consider my project.
Two weeks ago, I got the news that they were willing to provide key funding for my project if I could raise the rest. So before I could share the news with you, I had to hit the phones, write emails and send off applications to try and raise the shortfall. But today, I can announce that through pure will and determination, I can just about see the finish line. I have raised enough money to take my production on a small tour of primary schools next Spring, which will include both D/Deaf specialist schools and primary schools from socially deprived areas.
I still can’t believe that this is actually going to happen. I now just have to finish writing the libretto, work with the composer to create the music, devise the staging, book the transport, arrange accommodation, draft out the contracts, book the schools in the diary, ohh and still keep up with my existing practice, concerts, and the annual audition season approaches !!
But I relish the challenge and will keep you posted on how everything is progressing.
To help me to raise the remainder of the funds that I need, I came across a fundraising website that offers donations when you shop online. It doesn’t cost the shopper any more money, and the donations are made by the online stores. If you live in the UK and make any online purchases and would be willing to check this out, here is the link to my page on their website ( just click on the picture below ). If I can raise an extra £600.00 it will give me enough money to print a learning aid booklet for each of the 800 children we perform for. If I can raise an additional £3000.00 it will allow me to add the two schools that I have as reserves so that none of the children miss out. In the meantime, I will still be approaching foundations and other grant sources, so I will keep my fingers crossed that I can hit my target. ( https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/down-the-rabbit-hole/ )
This project has been made possible through help and advice from many sources, which have all helped me to get this far: The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Sign Language Department, Jane Davidson (Director of Outreach and Education at Scottish Opera), The Royal College of Music Mentorship Program and Educational Specialists, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, YCAT and The Manchester Collective, Miguel Mateus, Emma Belli, Alesia Parshutsina, Zoe McWhinney, Nino Russell, Dee Simpson, Siobhann Dodd, Kyle Cluett, Ruth Montgomery, Kathryn Bilyard, David Ward, The Arts Council England, Sameday PLC, Morrisons Winsford, Ovingdean Hall Foundation, Winsford Town Council, Hilary and Edwin Custance Green, Annette Rochelle Aben, Clare Pooley, and Cheshire West councillor Michael Baynham. And a big thank you to my wonderful husband, George and my parents, who have helped immensely and guided me through the whole process.Follow Charlotte Hoather on WordPress.com