Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Arts Council Grant for Opera Minima

Opera Minima (former Creative Leicestershire bursary winner) has just received news of their successful bid to Arts Council England for their production in November 2013 of Mozart’s Magic Flute.

The grant is £8,000 and it means that the company will be able to stage a much more elaborate show that would otherwise be possible, but still keeping ticket prices at a remarkably low level.
Music Director is renowned pianist, accompanist and repetiteur Nicholas Bosworth, who accompanies the performances, directing from the piano. Magic Flute will also have a small band with keyboard, flute, panpipes and glockenspiel as well as a plethora of electronic sound effects.

Opera Minima has received funding from the Arts Council nearly every year since 2004, and this is the third year running, a particularly commendable achievement in the current arts climate.

Singers are mainly young professionals in the early stages of their careers, but Minima’s growing reputation in the profession means that they often attract more experienced singers, especially for more challenging repertoire.

They are currently rehearsing Beethoven’s Fidelio, with a number of singers with an international career, such as Elizabeth Stannard in the title role who attracted rave reviews when she sang the role in Sydney Opera House: “ The greatest triumph of opening night belonged … to our Fidelio. Elizabeth Stannard … sang with confident, expressive artistry, her facility with the role’s challenging runs and wide tessitura easily compensating for a slight lack of heft..”

Gillian Leftwich, Artistic Director

Monday, 22 October 2012

Joining the Creative Leicestershire team!

I have now been here one week and in that time I have been introduced to lots of people I will be working with including the brilliant Creative Leicestershire team, Fred Brookes and Lucia Masundire. I've witnessed a brand new sculpture, created by Kenny Hunter, going up at County Hall - 'Stand Easy', a memorial to honour Leicestershire's Armed Forces. I've also been to two networking events and importantly found my way to the canteen!
The first event was part of the series of Wellbeing Wednesdays - a month of events, on each of the five Wednesdays this October, to help celebrate and champion the many ways which culture and the arts contribute to our collective and individual wellbeing. 'Your Choice' was held at the Atkins Building in Hinckley and around 20 different service providers chatted to service users and their carers about the services they had on offer, ranging from 'Beauty and Utility in the Arts' - managing arts and health projects, to Changing Minds - promoting positive mental health using the arts, sport and leisure, to creative writing workshops with Sue Mackrell and David McCormack to  3ZERO, a small recording studio in central Leicestershire catering for all abilities and all genres of music to Not Your Average Theatre group offering performance, drama and dance to adults with learning disabilities. It was a great event with over 100 people visiting the stalls and taking part in various activities .
The second event was the launch of the Sustainable Enterprise scheme with the Prince's Trust working with partners, Enterprising Leicester to encourage and support young people into business. We heard inspiring stories from the young people receiving their certificates from the Prince's Trust, about to launch their businesses and we were offered some impressive aims from Leicester's Business Support Network such as their assisting 2,812 people to start a business  and placing 180 graduates  into SMEs by 2015.

I hope I shall see many of you at a networking event soon and please don't hesitate to dop me a line to say 'Hi' .  To make sure you receive the Creative Leicestershire ebulletin with jobs and funding opportunities as well as events, sign up here

Catherine Rogers -  'the new' Arts and Creative Industries Manager

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