MANIFESTO For a REAL opera festival in an IMAGINARY world

Saturday, 16th May 2020

1. We are artists who make opera.

2. Our world is limited only by the boundaries of our imagination.

3. We can do or make anything.

4. We work together, and together with our audiences. We will not make art in isolation.

5. A defining feature of our work is that our artists affect our audiences and our audiences affect our artists in real time.

6. This escalating spiral of creativity can only happen when human beings come together in the same space.

7. This can be a real space, or a space in our imaginations.

8. We propose an imaginary world in which a real festival of real opera performances can take place.

9. We will build and share this world together.

10. We will share our creative processes as we construct this dream as much and as widely as we are able.

11. This sharing may be online, but will not be defined by that, and will take other forms as well.

12. We will work hard to include those who do not have access to the online world, and to include those who cannot access the physical spaces of opera.

13. We will strive to make our festival and imaginary world as inclusive as possible.

14. We hope and aim to make this festival in the ‘real’ world, but also believe that its imagined manifestations have a very great, real value.


Read more from Bill Bankes-Jones about The Manifesto here.


Sign the Manifesto here.


Bill Bankes-Jones, Artistic Director, Tête à Tête

Chris Taylor, Co-Producer/General Manager, Hive Opera (The Hive)

Julia Mintzer, Stage Director, Bread and Circuses

Elfyn Jones, Opera Maker, Sonopera (The Trilobite, Or The Fall of Mr Williams)

Leo Doulton, Artistic Director/Librettist, Virtually Opera (We Sing/I Sang, The Last Party on Earth)

Joanne Roughton-Arnold, Soprano/Company Director, formidAbility

Martin Bussey, Words and Music, Timeless Figure

Sarah Playfair, Consultant Tête à Tête

Ellie Knight, Roustabout-but-staying-in, South Downs Yodelling Collective (Early and Often)

Madeleine Pierard

Laure Meloy, Soprano/Artistic Director, Femme Lunatique (One Art, the podcast)

Thomas Elwin

Catherine Kontz, Composer/Director (Purblind in…, Twitching, Petite Neige, Electra, Shadowplays, Bon Voyage, Whisper Down the Lane, Larvae, A Certain Sense of Order, Fleet Footing, Hand Clap)

Sharon Eckman, Co-Creator

Phil Gault, Baritone/Script Editor, Rocket Opera/Black Sheep Opera

Wendy Dawn Thompson

Lindsay Bramley

Sarah Dacey, Singer/Composer

Muelas+Ward, Creators, Muelas+Ward (A&E)

Helgi R. Ingvarsson, Composer and performer (Music and the Brain)

Jeremy Richardson, Graphic Designer (Jaded)

Hans Vercauteren, Composer and Conductor, Story Tree, (Rain)

Gunnar Gudbjörnsson, Tenor (Doctor in Music and the Brain)

Laura Reid, Composer (Isis, Goddess of Love)

Gareth Churchill, Composer, formidAbility

Roswitha Gerlitz, Writer/Dramaturge, Artist (Of Body and Soul, Bee the Bee, Shadowplays, Gravity)

Edward Lambert, Composer, The Music Troupe (The Last Party on Earth)

Mark Johnston, Musical Director (Bread and Circuses)

Liam Wade, Composer (Bread and Circuses)

Naomi Woo, Music Director (Beethoven Was a Lesbian, The Hildegard Von Bingen Society for Gardening Companions, Voice(less), A Certain Sesne of Order)

Emily Thorner, Singer (Queen in The Last Party on Earth)

Jasmin Kent Rodgman, Composer/Director (Skin)

John Savournin, Singer, Director, and Artistic Director, Charles Court Opera (Olga’s Story)