Everything in the world lives and grows, and our art is no different. We must feed and nurture it to survive. That means working with children, supporting young artists and creatives, and inspiring and giving opportunities to the people who will sustain the arts in the future.
A tree is only as strong as its roots.
In 2023 we launched our Education Programme. Each year, we work with music teachers to create a series of diverse, creative, and dynamic music lessons constructed around our Summer Opera (this year, Mozart’s The Magic Flute).
These lessons, taught over the summer term, are designed to aid and empower teachers, and to give students the tools to learn, create, and explore all aspects of opera – from the music to the plot, characters, and even stage design – with each activity complementing a different part of the national music curriculum.
Our outreach team and wonderful Young Artists then attend each school to deliver in-person singing and acting workshops, before bringing everything together with a 45-minute performance of the opera for schools. Same performers, same music as the real show, just less of it!
For the first time, in 2024 Wild Arts will be touring a reduced 45-minute version of our summer opera, The Magic Flute, alongside the main UK-tour.
Same world-class performers and iconic musical moments; shorter runtime.
In 2023, we worked with four schools in Essex, and over 300 young people saw the dress rehearsal of The Elixir of Love at Layer Marney Tower.
Now, with our separate schools show and a larger tour, we are bringing the programme nationwide. And even beyond the UK...
After the success of last year’s programme, we have joined with the Essex Music Hub and Charanga (a world-leading music platform).
This not only supports our programme technically, but makes it accessible to two-and-a-half million people worldwide.
"Charanga is a music learning platform used by over two-and-a-half million young people worldwide, and nearly thirteen-thousand schools – nearly one in five children in England, and close to every school in Essex. Not only are we giving opera a concrete place on the hub, but we are helping schools and educators be creative in the way they use the platform – because we are being creative in the way we use the platform."
"We are using all the tools Charanga offers us to make our lessons even more dynamic and engaging, and to reach every child and unlock every area of music in the process. And we are making sure that teachers can do these exercises again and again, year after year, with or without us, no matter their level of professional experience."
- Rebecca Milford, Education Manager
(All photos by Lucy J Toms)
While these resources are available to students of any age, this year we are working specifically with secondary schools, developing a programme to bring children aged 11+ behind the scenes of the creative process, and offer an extra layer of access and insight.
The project is still in development, but secondary school students are invited to the dress rehearsal of the Summer Opera production of The Magic Flute, and are able to talk to our creatives and Young Artists about all aspects of the creative industries and of production.
This also allows us to follow through on last year's project with the older children, making sure that the 300 young people who came to last year's show continue to be engaged.
Wild Arts offer annual paid work experience / apprenticeship opportunities to everyone between the ages of 18 and 30, including:
We also welcome volunteers for our Front of House support during the Essex Summer Opera Festival at Layer Marney Tower in June.
Please email us by the end of February 2024 to find out more and to register your interest in any of the above areas.
Wild Arts’ Young Artists Programme gives 4-6 musicians each year the opportunity to hone their craft in a professional production setting, gaining confidence through vocal, language, and acting coaching, and through rehearsals and performances with an experienced ensemble of established artists.
All our artists have gone on to continued opportunities both within Wild Arts, and in the operatic world. For our 2023 Young Artist Spotlights, please take a look at our blog.
Applications have now closed for summer 2024, but please get in touch by the end of September to apply for our 2025 programme.
Bringing communities nationwide cheap and easy access to beautiful music, outstanding performers, and engaging and innovative performances, all at a world-class standard.
Offering young people, whether schoolchildren or young professionals, an insight into the world of classical music, and into the practical day-to-day workings of a theatrical production and tour.
Supporting emerging artists and young creatives at the start of their careers through workshops and performances with leading industry figures and patrons, and through fully-paid professional contracts.
We humans, alone on earth, are powerful enough to create worlds, and then to destroy them. But we have one more thing - an ability, perhaps unique among the living creatures on the planet - to imagine a future and work towards achieving it.
- David Attenborough
Wild Arts aims to be part of the solution as outlined by David Attenborough. We would like to live and work in harmony with nature and within the boundaries of what the planet is able to cope with, allowing the rejuvenation of our amazing natural world and restoring a biodiverse environment. We have all the tools we need, the thoughts and ideas of billions of remarkable minds and the immeasurable energies of nature to help us in our work. We can do it.
We only have one planet, and one biosphere, which humanity is a part of.
At the moment we (mostly the rich Western world) are testing the limits of the biosphere's ability to mend and renew itself. In many areas, we've gone beyond what the planetary systems can cope with.
Our aim is to create world-class opera in a way that stays within planetary boundaries - i.e. within the planet's ability to deal with the pollution we create, and clean up after us. It's easy to say; much harder to do. We're developing our strategy through travel, production design, food, energy use, and the way we manage our office and team, as well as through who we choose as our partners.
Sustainability begins at the outset, with the director's concept and the designer's vision. We ensure that our team works collectively to achieve that vision in a sustainable way.
Planning and communicating
Sustainable outcomes depend on collaboration and communication, allowing time for sustainability-focussed meetings, and to develop new tools and processes.
Sustainable theatre requires a step change towards the use of equipment and materials which have had a previous life, and will go on to be reused, repurposed or recycled. Our design team use scrap materials and fabrics, and rifle through charity shops to create their shows.
Clean procurement and transport
As a touring opera company, and a company that pride themselves on reaching inaccessible venues, transport (and often driving) is a key part of our day to day life.
Last year, our team travelled around 75,000 miles, using trains and car shares where possible. This translated to 18,000 miles by train and 10,000 miles by car (with over half of our road miles in electric vehicles) and generated approximately 3 tonnes of CO2e. Meanwhile, we estimate our audiences drove 23,000 miles (just under the circumference of the world) and created over 6 tonnes of CO2e. It's hard for us to limit our audience travel, but we have offset all these emissions over the last few months.
All our work is channelled through our annual Summer Tour, which this year includes Mozart's The Magic Flute, alongside our trademark Opera Evening show.