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The Theatre Magdeburg announces a coproduction of a Wagnerian opera for young audience 2013

AsLiCo, Associazione Lirica e Concertistica Italiana - Italy, Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie – France, Theater Magdeburg - Germany promote a joint project for the coproduction of a Wagnerian opera for children (age 6 to 14).

The goal of the project is that of celebrating Wagner through his works in the year of his 200th birthday, creating a connection between young audience and the complex work of the German composer.

 Nowadays, several projects of opera education belong regularly to the seasons of the main European Opera Houses, allowing young people the chance to get in touch with this art form without prejudices.

Therefore Wagner’s bicentenary in 2013 gives young people a new opportunity to experience opera: from the artistic creation to the backstage, to the stalls. The desire to launch a new challenge for young people in the Wagner bicentenary arises from the ten-year experience of the co-organisers in opera education projects. The common aim is that of producing Der fliegende Holländer by Wagner just reduced for children, and interpreted by young artists from the European stage. Opera growing and flourishing thanks to young people.

 The project will develop in three different areas:

-          young artists. Training programme and workshops to improve singers’ skills. Job opportunities for singers, director, set and costume designer, conductor.

-          European Wagner workshops for young singers, from May 2012 organized by each partner, take place at each Opera House         (Como, Rouen, Magdeburg)

-          Competition for young Opera Singers of Europe, from October 2012 pre-selection in Europe. (Como, Rouen, Magdeburg and other cities in other Countries)

-          Competition Mise en scène, from February 2012

 To select the team for the staging of Der fliegende Holländer pre-registration on line – proclamation of the winner in one of the cities of the project.


-          young audience and school teachers. Approach to Wagner’s music and to opera. Training programme through e-learning, workshops and 


-          the show. The network will share the production and the opera will be put on stage in a European tour by Spring 2014.

 One of the most important requisites for the project is that it must consider the actual participation of the young audience in the show. Children will have to sing some short arie from the stalls, thus playing the ancient role of the chorus. Before coming to the theatre, children follow a training programme with their teachers, so that they can approach opera actively: building and creating small accessories and props (linked to the show) to bring to the theatre, playing with the music and the plot of the opera. Children become aware and active audience taking part in the performance.


German language will play a special role in the whole performance, as even if the opera will be translated into the language of the producing Opera House (French for  and Rouen, Italian for Como and German for Magdeburg), some short arie sung by the audience in the stalls will be kept in the original language. This way students and teachers could get in touch with original Wagner language and at the same time feel a concrete part of a European project, by knowing that the same extracts will be sung exactly the same in each Country.

The cast itself is composed only by young singers (max 32 years old) selected through the historical Competition for Young Opera Singers of Europe, realized by AsLiCo since 1949 and co-organised with European partners since several years.

Pre-selection auditions will take place in the three Countries of the project: Italy, , France and Germany and around Europe. Selection auditions (Elimination, Semi-Final and Final) will be held at Teatro Sociale of Como in January 2013.

The jury will be composed of representative managers and artists from the three partners and from delegates of the most important Opera Houses of Europe.

Between May and October 2012 practical workshops about Wagner music and vocal training for young singers will be held in the three countries involved in the project. This part of the project will start 22nd may 2012 on the occasion of Wagner’s 199th birthday, so that the cast will be ready for his bicentenary in 2013. Then the selected cast will follow a specific training programme about Der fliegende Holländer in Italy, where the co-produced show will have its premiere in February 2013. 

The co-production of Der fliegende Holländer will be put on stage in a European tour of about 140 performances within end of April 2014 in the countries belonging to the project. So Wagner 200 will be a network sharing didactic programme for young audience, training programme and new concrete job opportunities for young artists and production of one of the most representative Wagner works apart from the Ring.

Thanks to the extremely positive experience of Opera J, supported by UE in 2008, Wagner 200 will launch Mise en Scène, another competition to select the team for the staging of the new opera.

The jury will be composed of delegates from the three partners and representative directors from the European landscape.


- The media will play a central role in the project, not only to help in the communication among partners, but also in the didactic and artistic phases.

www.wagner200.eu - a multilingual new interactive website will be created. It will contain practical and institutional information and a special didactic session, with games and exercises for students of different ages.

A multimedia session will contain the video diary of project: workshops, rehearsals of the show and the première.


- Specific didactic publications are realized. All participants receive the libretto, a specific publication created by the didactic team, containing the libretto of the opera with the simplified score accompanied by several didactic activities for children: the plot, the director’s point of view, suggestions for role plays and practical instructions to create the objects for the day of the performance.

The didactic team also produces a guidebook for teachers and a cd with the arie to be taught to children for the show.

The didactic work with students and teachers is aimed not only to assist the performance in a more aware and active way, but also to give them hints, suggestions and ideas to work at school and create their own performance, or their own publication about the opera, with the report of their role games and discussions during the school year.


Main associated partners

RESEO - European Network for Opera and Dance Education

Opera Europa - leading service organisation for professional opera companies and opera festivals throughout Europe

Camerata Nuova – German philanthropic association created to select and help young European directors

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