Down the Rabbit Hole – Tour 2023
A storybook opera for children across the hearing spectrum.
Down the Rabbit Hole is an immersive opera for families. The first tour will visit children aged 8-10 in primary schools. The story takes inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and will be brought to life through classical music, physical theatre, British Sign Language (BSL), Sign Supported English and Visual Vernacular.
The project is produced by Charlotte Hoather, who wanted to create an opera that would be accessible to children from all walks of life, including those that are deaf or hard of hearing. Charlotte’s drive to encourage and inspire the deaf and hard of hearing stems from her own personal experience of being diagnosed at birth as profoundly deaf in one ear.
From the 9th March, Down the Rabbit Hole will be performed to over 1,000 school children at a collection of 13 schools across Winsford, Cheshire and London.
As part of the experience, each child will receive an Illustrated Synopsis. The teachers will receive access to pre-show activities to improve their student’s appreciation of music, team-working and literacy skills. One of the activities will teach the children a BSL poem, which they will perform during the opera accompanied by live music.
The opera has been made possible with generous support from Arts Council England and grants from Ovingdean Hall Foundation, Darnhall Exhibition Foundation, Birkdale Trust for the Hearing Impaired, Sameday PLC, Winsford Town Council and Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and donations from blog supporters and friends and family.
Cast and Creatives
- Soprano Charlotte Hoather
- Actor Zoë McWhinney
- Pianist George Todica
- Integrated Interpreter Naomi Gray
- Composer Zollino (Nino Russell)
- Costume Designer Emma Belli
- Stage Manager Chloe Dodd
- Deaf Consultant Ruth Montgomery
- Thursday 9th March Over Hall Community School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Friday 10th March Over St Johns C of E Primary School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Monday 13th March St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Tuesday 14th March Winsford High Street Community Primary School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Wednesday 15th March St Chad’s C of E Primary School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Monday 20th March Wharton C of E Primary School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Tuesday 21st March Darnhall Primary School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Wednesday 22nd March Hebden Green Community School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Wednesday 22nd March. Oaklands School unique SM School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Thursday 23rd March Grange Primary School Winsford (Cheshire)
- Friday 24th March Willow Wood Community Primary Winsford (Cheshire)
- Monday 27th March James Wolfe Primary School Greenwich (London)
- Tuesday 28th March Knollmead Primary School Knollmead (Kingston upon Thames)
- Wednesday 29th March Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children
- Including: King’s Cross Academy School King’s Cross (London)
Previous Blog Posts
In this blog post, I share the final preparations before starting rehearsals.
In this blog post, I share an update to cast changes, and the development of the Illustrated synopsis.
In this blog post, I announce my award from Arts Council England, which helped me to write, engage a composer for the new songs and produce the 2023 Tour.
In this blog post, I announce that I was awarded a Develop your Creative Practice (DYCP) award from Arts Council England, which allowed me to research and develop the concept of “Down the Rabbit Hole.”
In this blog post, I discuss the original songs which I included in the first ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ album.
In this blog post, I discuss the original “Down the Rabbit Hole” CD Album of English verse and English Song published by George and I.
I passed on your comments and suggestion to Cheshire Cat Marketing, the PR company that I am working with to increase awareness of the project. Here is the Press Release they produced.
Opera Singer Performs For Local Children To Inspire A Love Of Classical Music
From the 9th of March, Charlotte Hoather will be performing at a collection of 13 schools across Winsford and London.
To encourage creative and intuitive thinking, Charlotte Hoather has been sponsored to share her love for opera with children across the hearing spectrum. The award-winning soprano has dreamt of making her music accessible to children from all walks of life, including those that are deaf or hard of hearing.
Singing to over 1,000 school children, she will be showcasing her rendition of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. After creating the opera, writing the libretto and working closely with her husband, virtuoso concert pianist George Todica, deaf actress and BSL poet Zoë McWhinney, and the renowned music composer Nino Russell known as Zollino, she has cleverly reimagined this storybook opera as ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’.
Charlotte, born in Winsford, Cheshire, established her passion for performing arts from the tender age of three. What initially began as a hobby in dance, she grew her skillset when she began singing and acting at age six in Northwich. She then went on to graduate with a First Class Music Degree from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and The Royal College of Music Master of Music.
Charlotte’s drive to encourage and inspire the deaf and hard of hearing stems from her own personal experience of being diagnosed at birth as profoundly deaf in one ear. She has documented her extensive career and hearing impairment through a personal blog that has inspirited readers worldwide.
Closely working with other like-minded talents, she has produced a heart-warming and captivating opera which she is showcasing to local schools with the desire to encourage, inspire and educate children through the beauty and universal power of music. Claire Mera-Nelson, the Director of Music and London at the Arts Council of England, said:
“Every child deserves the opportunity to enjoy high-quality musical experiences, and we know this can boost their confidence, support their learning, and encourage self-expression.
Thanks to the money raised by National Lottery players, we’re excited to be supporting the award-winning soprano Charlotte Hoather and her immersive opera project for children. Charlotte will bring a narrative inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to life through music, physical theatre, British Sign Language and more – all to make sure that more children, including those who are Deaf or across the hearing spectrum, can experience the joys of opera and let their creativity roam without limits.”
The tour will open on the 9th of March in Winsford, with the finale being on the 29th of March in London. The schools that Charlotte will be attending are Over Hall Community School, Over St Johns, St Josephs, Winsford High Street, St Chads CofE, Wharton CofE, Darnhall, Hebden Green, Grange Primary School and Willow Wood in Winsford.
From there, she will move on to several London schools, including James Wolfe Primary School, Knollmead Primary School and Frank Barnes School for Deaf/King’s Cross Academy.