Dare to Dream

On Monday 18 March 2019 1,600 Buckinghamshire school children performed at the Royal Albert Hall in Dare to Dream, an innovative newly commissioned children's opera bringing together children from Syria, Uganda, Bangladesh and Buckinghamshire. Garsington Opera partnered with Rosetta Life and Buckinghamshire Music Trust (BMT) to create the piece which was directed by Garsington Opera's Karen Gillingham with music by Hannah Conway, funded by the American Friends of Garsington Opera.

A massed choir of 650 primary school children from Buckinghamshire, a stage company of 90 primary school children from three Bucks schools, soloists Claire Wild (soprano) and Kieran Rayner (baritone) and a 25-piece orchestra from BMT performed Dare to Dream

Poems and themes initiated and explored in Skype workshops, connecting the stage company children with pupils in the three other countries were interwoven into a libretto by Lucinda Jarrett and Chris Rawlence from Rosetta Life. Film-maker Claudia Lee and designer Rhiannon Newman-Brown created a breathtaking multi-media, staged opera production incorporating film into the design and composition. The filmed content brought the young poets from Syria, Uganda and Bangladesh to the stage and incorporated their images and voices into the production. These children across the globe explored some challenging conversations about difficult lives and developed a shared vision of hope through friendship and a belief in their collective future. 

Dare to Dream formed the second half of Echoes 8, a biennial singing event produced by BMT, with Love & Life, a song cycle performed by another 850 Buckinghamshire primary singers in the first half.