6 Characters In Search of an Opera
Possibly the first opera written specifically for care settings, 6 Characters in Search of An Opera is an example of innovation in care through the collaboration of professional artists, health and care professionals, and the generosity of Davina’s Fund and the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action (CIVA).
Five classically trained musicians turn up at a venue, as instructed. They have learnt their songs, they know the music and even some dance moves. Confusion abounds as the songs are all from different operas and the director is nowhere to be seen…
Commissioned by Davina’s Fund and Michael Norton of CIVA. Written by popular playwright Rachel Barnett, directed by award-winning Helen Eastman and featuring an international group of highly talented, professional opera singers. Supported by top UK care organisations.
We have taken this performance to over 20 different care settings including hospices, dementia units, nursing homes and community centres, as well as mental health and brain injury facilities. It has had a profoundly positive impact on those whose lives and minds are often difficult to reach, as well as on those who care for them.
As word gets out, we are receiving many enquiries from care settings across the country, proving that the appetite for quality arts engagement exists in many care environments. The challenge is now to raise the attention and funds to meet this well-established need in an effective manner.
We thank Michael Norton for co-funding, along with Davina’s Fund, the pilot tour of 6 Characters in the South West and London in the Spring of 2017, and D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust for contributing towards our Autumn 2017 West Midlands tour.
“The opera show was priceless. Fabulous story, passionate, amazing vocals and really connected with the audience. I had a good laugh and emotional at the same time. I got a flower from one of the actors.” EVDD, care home resident
“I love the fact that 6 characters can connect with different age range. I have never been one to watch an opera show and like it. But I would definitely give opera a chance after watching the show. Thank you for allowing me to experience such an amazing show.” Fowsia, care coordinator, senior living
“Everyone I have spoken to about it have said that it was amazing and nothing like they had imagined an opera to be. They thought that all the characters voices were amazing. They also commented on how funny it was, and that they would enjoy another performance.” Paul, staff member, Headway (improving life after brain injury)