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August 23, 2012

Mini Operas – two small words, one giant idea says English National Opera

ENO’s current production of the new opera ‘Julietta’ opening in September 2012

The English National Opera (ENO) is currently running a very fresh and creative worldwide campaign to search for new opera storyism talent.

Entitled Mini Operas, ENO are about half-way through scouring for innovative script writers, composers and film-makers of all ages, background, and races to tell stories in words, music or pictures – and no knowledge of opera is necessary.

Just as you wake he comes to you, and he sweeps up kingdoms and castles, and angels and owls, mountains and oceans. He sweeps up the lust and the love and the lovers, the sages who are not butterflies, the flowers of meat, the running of the deer and the sinking of the Lusitania. By Neil Gaiman

Here’s how it works:

  • 21 May: 3 famous authors (Neil Gaiman – The Sweeper of Dreams, A.L. Kennedy – On Paper, Will Self – The Death of a Government Inspector) wrote starting stories as jump-off platforms for the script competition
  • 4 June: 10 winning scripts were chosen to become the basis of the soundtrack competition, where composers used Soundcloud to post their original compositions
  • 6 August: 10 winning soundtracks inspire the film competition – film-makers have 7 weeks to post their final films via Vimeo
  • 24 September: 10 winning films are chosen
  • 8 October: one writer, one composer, and one film-maker will be chosen and mentored for one full academic year.

So far, only the script and soundtrack competitions have been completed. People can enter as many scripts, soundtracks and films as they like, either as individuals or teams. The only stipulations are to use the stories provided as a starting point, stick to the time allowance of 5-7 minutes, and to also write in English.

To date, entrants have appeared from the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, Italy, Portugal, Georgia, Sweden, and Canada.

The winners of the competition will be mentored by Leo Warner, Jeremy Sams, or Nico Muhly, three people well known for their creativity in redefining opera.

To make Mini Operas happen, ENO has partnered with Vimeo, Soundcloud, BFI, British Council, Classic FM, Sound and Music and The London Film School.


About the Author

Evon Koprowski
Journalist, blogger, opera singer, and all round bon vivant. You can find me flexing my creativity muscles at Red Fortune Media, or helping to save the world at

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