Archive for September, 2011

Author: Adam Gorb - Composer, Co-founder
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September 28th 2011
Anya17 – A Composer’s Perspective

Ben Kaye and I had worked on two previous projects, both related to present day world issues: ‘Thoughts Scribbled on A Blank Wall’ (2007), a cantata based on the incarceration of the political prisoner John McCarthy, and ‘Eternal Voices’ (2010), an oratorio on the subject of war in the 21st century with particular reference to the conflict in Afghanistan! I had wanted to write an opera for years, so when (at last) I had found a librettist in Ben Kaye who I could really work with, we spent many hours, telephone calls, meetings and emails mulling over subject matter.  Having thought very hard on whether to find a story from ancient or tried and tested sources, we eventually concluded that we would follow what had worked for us before: to take an important issue from today’s news and bring it to people’s attention through words and music. The dark and distressing area of human trafficking seemed a worthy challenge.

The genesis of this project literally took years. I have a full time job at a music college, and previously I had always composed mainly at weekends and in the holidays. But to create a one hour-long opera, this would need more time than I have ever taken previously on a work. After several failed applications for time off from work to research organisations, I was eventually granted a term where I could farm out my teaching and examining, thus leaving several hours a day for composing. I had already written a short ensemble piece ‘Dancing in the Ghetto’, which had had a couple of performances. This work has an Eastern European flavour which seemed to include a flavour of the highly charged atmosphere in which the story of the opera was to take place: in short, it was comforting to have a score with useful source material from where to start, rather than an intimidating blank page!

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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September 25th 2011
Second Documentary Confirmed

Directly inspired by the Anya17 project, a recent call from the BBC confirmed that they have decided to start filming a short Documentary on Human Trafficking in the UK.

Spearheaded by the much-respected Simon Clemison, the Documentary will form part of the BBC’s ‘Inside Out’ series, and although predominately focussing on the South West (where I’m based) it is hoped that the magnitude of the subject will ensure BBC broadcasts in many other regions.

I am absolutely delighted that Anya17 has stimulated this interest, and despite the fact that ‘Anya’ is unlikely to feature much in the film, Anya’s true purpose will be well served.

Many thanks to Simon and all at the Beeb for their continued support!

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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September 11th 2011
Anya17 Documentary Gets Go-Ahead

Following a very successful meeting in Liverpool on Friday, I can finally reveal that the Documentary on ‘the making of’ the Opera Anya17 is all set to go.

For new visitors to this blog, ‘Anya17’ is the first Opera to dramatically explore the issue of Sex Trafficking in the UK and will premiere with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10 and the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) on March 7th 2012. Anya 17 is backed by eight UK / international Charities and The United Nations (UN.GIFT).

The Documentary’s Producer is to be the multi-award-winning Francis Vose, who with three BAFTAs to his name and a strong ethical approach is sure to guide this exciting project to a triumphant conclusion. The film’s Director will be selected shortly from the best of final year Film students from Liverpool Hope University.

Already on board to distribute the Documentary is ‘Unchosen’, a Charity which organises Film Festivals around the UK to raise awareness of Trafficking issues.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the RNCM have been most generous in providing filming permissions, offering unrivalled ‘behind-the-scenes’ access for the Documentary which will blend the Opera making process with the issues which inspired it.

Whilst somewhat exhausted from the 560 mile round trip to Liverpool, I am delighted with this result which heralds wonderful opportunities to spread the message to a wider audience.

Over the coming weeks and months I will explain ‘what it takes’ to write an Opera, as well as keeping you up to date with the auditions, rehearsals and other behind-the-scenes information including interviews with the Documentary Producer and Director, the Composer, Opera soloists and musicians.

Until next time…

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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September 5th 2011

A blog.

A blank page.

A ream to fill with feeling.

Sitting down to find a prompt to start this story with the coldest of engines, I recalled an interview when a reporter asked me why I write.

“Until the pain dulls.

Until I can fall asleep without a million thoughts and images banging on my heart.

Until the catharsis no longer helps.

Until the chaos becomes silence.”

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