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Education Prize
Shortlist 2021

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We are musicians

Bulgaria
Stara Zagora State Opera

We are musicians

The main idea of the project is to develop the first Bulgarian sensory friendly interactive opera performance, designed for children and youth with special educational needs.

Presentation

The main idea of the project is to develop the first Bulgarian sensory friendly interactive opera performance, suitable for children and youth with special educational needs. More, it is going to provide inclusion activities for young people with developmental and behavioral challenges, who will be supported by young volunteers, psychologists, opera artists and educational experts on their first opera experience.

Our inspiration comes from the fact that classical music could be used much more to influence positively young people with autism, ADHD, Down syndrome and other sensory or behavioral challenges, but there are limited public efforts and no suitable cultural opportunities in Bulgaria in this regard.

The performance will be called “We are musicians”. It will consist of two acts. The first one will provide stage performance experience for the children and youth we and our partners have worked with in the inclusion activities. The second one will be professional interactive relaxed performance, where the young people with special educational needs will be able to feel and taste the magic of opera. It will consist of mix of classical musical pieces, sensory friendly scenography, lighting and sound.

In order to achieve its goal, Stara Zagora State Opera recruited four key allies – the National Association of Resource Teachers Bulgaria, Stara Zagora International Youth Center, Alternative 55 Association and Down Syndrome Albania Foundation.
The Bulgarian partners are going to provide expertise on working with young people with special needs, host musical educational workshops in their premises and provide youth volunteers for the final performance.
The Albanian one is going to take part in exchange experience in Bulgaria and will organize the hosting of the sensory-friendly performance, which is going to be developed within the project.

Artistic Team

Our project team is very energetic and excited to implement its idea.

Most members are Bulgarians, except for the stage director, woodwind instruments expert and the Albanian educational advisor. The artists and the educational staff were selected because of their abilities, but more importantly because of their inspiration to work with youth, especially with youngsters with special needs.

Director of the whole process and the interactive performance is Uschi Horner. She has made her professional career in Austria and loves to work with children.
Keiko Tanaka will be leading the woodwind workshops for young people. She is from Japan, currently Principal flutist in Stara Zagora State Opera.
Yova Petkova is young assistant director and education specialist, who works with children at the opera.
Victor Krumov is a young conductor working with State Opera Stara Zagora, who will be responsible for creating the musical concept for the final interactive performance.
Denis Ivanov will be in charge of the sets and design. His main task will be to inspire the youth participants with an engaging and friendly set environment.
Romina Slavova has been a part of our ballet team for over 10 years. She will be responsible for the dancing activities for young people with special needs and their stage performance.
Neliana Dimitrova is a percussionist. She will provide assistance in implementing the musical percussion workshops.
Milena Ivanova is our string expert. She will be introducing the youth to string instruments and lead the string musical workshops.
Iglika Petkova is educational expert. Iglika is part of NART and has worked with youth with special needs as resource teacher in the last 2 years.
Zdravko Tenev is a psychologist. He will be responsible for evaluating young people with special needs behavior the impact on them from the musical workshops.

Uschi Horner

Uschi Horner

Stage Director

Keiko Tanaka

Keiko Tanaka

Musician

Yova Petkova

Yova Petkova

Education Specialist

Denis Ivanov

Denis Ivanov

Set Designer

Victor Krumov

Victor Krumov

Composer

Zdravko Tenev

Zdravko Tenev

Psychologist

Romina Slavova

Romina Slavova

Dancer

Iglika Petkova

Iglika Petkova

Education Specialist

Mirela Juka

Mirela Juka

Legal Educational Advisor

Partners

International Youth Center Stara Zagora

Bulgaria

Down Syndrome Albania Foundation

Albania

National Association of Resource Teachers Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Alternative 55 Association

Bulgaria

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