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UTOPERAS – a participatory youth opera in series format © Irene Neubert i
UTOPERAS - the first participatory youth opera in series format investing in public spaces. Inspired by Yevgeny Zamyatin’s dystopian novel ‘WE’, young people will co-create and perform each episode alongside professional artists in locations just outside Vienna’s city centre, connecting new audiences and communities.
We all binge-watch Netflix series, but what about falling in love with the story, protagonists and music of a new youth opera series?
We have discovered that there is considerable interest among young people to discuss utopian and dystopian narratives related to their futures and the influence new technologies may have on their lives. Contemporary societies have experienced a decline in the perceived importance of community – something that UTOPERAS aims to counter by fostering a sense of solidarity and exchange for the younger generations.
The opera industry also currently lacks formats that explicitly target teenagers. UTOPERAS aims to connect the dots and fill the gap. This participatory project offers young people a platform to explore their visions of the future and co-create a youth opera series by contextualising the main ideas of the dystopian novel ‘We’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin in relation to their own lived realities.
Professional artists will engage young people in a series of free workshops to write the libretto, compose the music, create concepts for staging and choreography and finally perform their new youth opera alongside professional artists from Vienna State Opera.
As part of the project, they will collaboratively explore new aesthetics for an artistic, interdisciplinary concept combining orchestra music, singing, and dance in a non-hierarchical way. The innovative series format enables the episodes to be performed in different places within one of the most disadvantaged, but at the same time most diverse, districts of Vienna. Through the set-up of short, low-threshold episodes, UTOPERAS will reach, surprise and connect new audiences that have never engaged with opera before and further encourage them to explore new places within the community of areas outside Vienna’s city centre.
The UTOPERAS team is made up of education, music, dance and opera professionals from five different countries (Peru/USA, Mexico, Austria, Germany) combining professional experience in the institutional opera contexts as well as within the field of grass-root community music and dance.Krysztina, Andy, Monica, Johannes and Valentin's work is driven by inclusion, diversity and interdisciplinarity and will guarantee high artistic quality as well as truthful dialogue and artistic creation with the young-people. All of the team members' work is highly community-driven and participant-centred while being ambitious about innovative artistic practice. As within the opera education and community context, it is crucial for State Vienna State Opera to collaborate on eye-level with its partners, Vienna State Opera shares the artistic leadership with its artistic community partners Superar and Tanz die Toleranz.
Head of Dance