Education Prize
Shortlist 2021


12 / 11

Carmen and the other extraordinary women


Carmen and the other extraordinary women - Community Opera Women

"Carmen and the Other extraordinary girls" is a community opera based on Bizet's Carmen co-created with young women from Southern Italy, migrant women under protection and disabled women from Northern Italy.


Community Opera Women is a 2 years co-creation opera project aimed primarily at girls from Southern Italy  (where there is one of the lowest participation rates in Europe of women in social and economical life), girls with disabilities from Northern Italy and migrants (mostly under protection). 

What do these communities have in common? The dreams, the future and their diversity. The mission of the project is to offer the communities involved tools and spaces for artistic expression and imagination, with the aim of helping participants not only to acquire artistic tools and skills but also to acquire storytelling and self-narrative tools and skills, thus increasing one's degree of perception, awareness and self-confidence and favouring inclusion and social cohesion. 

Starting from this point, the project builds a participatory opera project with co-creation workshops in dramaturgy, music, costume and set design. 

The project is lead by Compagnia Teatrale L'Albero - opera education and theatre producer, Allegro Moderato, an orchestra made with disabled young artists, Pot in Pot, a cultural and communication organization, and Fondazione Alta Mane Italia. The main objective of the project is to promote inclusion and social cohesion and to provide tools for relational development in the two communities of reference (Northern and Southern Italy). The project also aims at giving visibility to marginalized women communities through expressive forms that enhance their sharing, narration, identity and give them a high quality arts experiences working with professional artists.

Artistic Team

The Theatre Company L'Albero and Orchestra Allegro Moderato are two cultural organization focused on producing opera and music with significant social impact. Opera singers, directors, cultural managers, artist with disabilities and researcher have been working together to find a common space of artistic research in the co-creation practice with communities. Their approach is to put the Opera at the center, like a fire, and the communities around it, a safe-space where - starting from Carmen - the 50 women involved in the projects will be able to share their stories during co-writing workshops and, therefore, create a new story together. Investigating topics like freedom, diversity and what does it mean to be a woman, artists and communities have been working together to build a collective contemporary libretto.

Designed by the Drammaturg Andrea Ciommiento, the first part of the artistic research was conducted by asking all participants to reflect on a moment when one chose for oneself, without someone having you told how to do or what to say. We like to call them small acts of rebellion. Telling me about a time when you ever "rebelled" against an uncomfortable situation, to a "cage", to a fact that didn't quite fit you.

The conductor, P. Gelosa works with girls involved to teach them how to feel and play the music of Bizet with co-playing in a string orchestra of professioals.

All the artist involved dialogue with the participating women so that the next two phases (stage design and costumes) are designed with the same method of co-creation: R. Orlando and the Open Design School will work to co-design an accessibile and innovative stage conception and M. Dinuzzi will work on costumes investigating on workers uniform.

Chiara Osella

Chiara Osella


Consuelo Agnesi

Consuelo Agnesi

Deaf artist, Opera narrator

Giuseppina Maria GELOSA

Pinuccia Gelosa

Music Teacher

Marianna DINUZZI

Marianna Dinuzzi

Costume Designer

Andrea Ciommiento

Andrea Ciommiento



Rita Orlando

Set Designer

Alessandra Maltempo

Alessandra Maltempo

Singer / Actress

Gino Marangi

Gino Marangi





Open Design School


Pot in Pot


Fondazione Alta Mane Italia



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