Education Prize
Shortlist 2022

Dawn to Dusk

United Kingdom
Garsington Opera

Dawn to Dusk
Dawn to Dusk engages and connects young people in the UK, Italy, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon to co-create a hybrid live/digital youth opera and touring installation piece that uses film and new technology to tell their stories through their eyes, so their voices can be heard throughout the world.


Dawn to Dusk is a life-enhancing project supporting intercultural dialogue by using new digital technology to bring young people together. The project pushes the envelope of conventional opera by inviting partners to work with a newly commissioned score and libretto to create their interpretation of the work in a way that is unique to their setting and personal experiences. A digital installation piece taking footage from each interpretation will create a legacy for the project.

Working with key partners and other organisations in close collaboration – Amwaj Choir, Hebron, Palestine; Al-Farah Choir, Damascus, Syria; Alsama Project, Beirut, Lebanon; Matera consortium, Italy; The Grange Festival, Hampshire, UK; and MCC Foundation, London, UK – around 200 young people aged 9-18 will connect via shared virtual space to exchange ideas, develop new skills, perform and learn from each other.

These young people will co-create an opera told from their perspective, following their everyday experiences, using film and digital technology to give them a creative voice that will be heard around the world. The culmination will be a hybrid live/digital performance in each of the partners’ own spaces. The digital element in each performance will bring all of the young people together on stage.

Dawn to Dusk builds on Garsington Opera’s technological innovation created as a response to Covid 19 to break down young people’s isolation – GO Create: the opera imaginarium – a digital learning resource engaging young people in creating opera. A new GO Create: Dalia film and a special Dawn to Dusk Opera Kit will be shared with partners to help them develop production skills during the creation of Dawn to Dusk.

The final digital installation piece, incorporating elements from each partner’s performance, will tour and live in many venues. People of all ages will be able to experience a young person’s journey through their eyes – from dawn to dusk – inspiring audiences around the globe.

Artistic Team

Karen Gillingham is a freelance opera director, facilitator and Creative Director of the GO Learning & Participation programme. Karen leads the field in performing arts outreach and education work in the UK. She mentors and tutors other teachers and practitioners across Europe, drawing upon her experience with GO and nine years as co-artistic director of the Royal Opera House’s Youth Opera Company. Karen is herself an experienced performer in musical theatre and brings clear, visionary and inspiring leadership, demonstrated through her leadership of the ground-breaking opera Dalia (2022) and the Dare to Dream large scale youth opera collaboration, performed at the Royal Opera Hall (2019). Michele Cantoni is an Italian violinist who travelled to Palestine in 2003 and was so moved by his experience that he decided to relocate permanently. From 2004 – 2015 he worked for one of Palestine’s biggest music schools, The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. In 2015 he set up Amwaj, which means waves in Arabic. He has worked with GO on Dalia, delivering a hugely successful partnership with the Amwaj Choir. He will ensure communication and understanding amongst all partners on the Dawn to Dusk project works well. He will work collaboratively with artists on Zoom and has proven that he can lead participants in this virtual space. Dinko Fabris is an Italian musicologist who studied lute (Conservatorio di Verona), Italian literature and Musicology (University of Bologna; PhD Royal Holloway University of London). Awarded with fellowships in Ferrara, Chicago, the University of Melbourne, the Warburg Institute, London, he has been visiting professor at the Universities of Paris, Melbourne and Lubiana. As a key member of the project team for Dawn to Dusk, he will bring extensive academic expertise in the field of community opera and support the artistic team in the creation and delivery of the youth opera. He will help lead the university students engaged in project.


Amwaj Choir


Conservatorio di Matera


Al-Farah Choir


Alsama Project



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