UTAS Newsroom 31 August 2012
More than 40 talented young people from Tasmania and around Australia will come together from Monday 3 September 2012 for an Australian and possibly world first: the inaugural WotOpera Camp at the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music in Hobart.
From diverse cultural, educational and SES backgrounds, the promising students aged between 16-19 will take part in the week-long intensive residency, taking comprehensive classes with industry professionals in singing, composition, stagecraft and creative writing.
The students will develop and devise an opera entirely their own, and present it in a public performance at the UTAS Conservatorium Recital Hall on the evening of Saturday 8 September.
Upon successful completion of the WotOpera Camp, graduates will receive a 25 per cent credit towards a Diploma of Music Performance from UTAS, a critical stepping-stone into higher education.
WotOpera, an innovative, national school-based music theatre education program founded by philanthropist Graeme Wood AM, aims to unlock the creativity in each young person – while boosting their social development, learning outcomes and opening up pathways for their future.
Associate Professor Andrew Legg, Head of School at the UTAS Conservatorium of Music, says:
The Conservatorium of Music is delighted to be involved with WotOpera in bringing high quality music education and performance to the broader Australian community. The dedication, expertise and boundless energy that the WotOpera staff brings to this project is breathtaking, connecting students with the real heart, soul and passion of music.
WotOpera is a project of Artology, a not-for-profit organisation whose goal is youth development and social change through the arts, founded by Graeme Wood. Since 2008, more than1400 students from over 50 schools around Australia have participated in WotOpera Schools. The outcomes for students have been life-changing: access to performing arts training improves performance in literacy and other aspects of the curriculum. It also has significant positive effects on social development, capacity for collaboration and teamwork, and confidence.
In addition to WotOpera Camp, launching in September 2012, another innovation is WotOpera’s first hospital-based project, at Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital School in November.
WotOpera’s team, led by artistic director Murray Dahm, introduces students to the creative and technical processes involved in the production of an opera. The students write the libretto, compose the music and design the sets, as WotOpera staff facilitate, helping the students to bring their ideas to realisation, culminating in a public performance.
In this student-centred democratic process, the young people are the creative driving force and the decision-makers. The work emerges from their innate capacity to draw on their experiences and imaginations to tell compelling stories, using speech, song, movement, drama and design.