Glyndebourne will offer an exclusive free streaming of its new community opera Imago to celebrate European Opera Days 2013.

Each year on the weekend closest to 9 May (Europe Day), opera houses in Europe and beyond open their doors to new and existing audiences to celebrate the art of opera and the talent of those who make it. This year European Opera Days takes place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May 2013 and Imago will be available to watch exclusively and for free on the Glyndebourne website across the weekend.

Imago, which premiered on the main stage at Glyndebourne in March, features a community cast of 90 amateur performers from across south east England. Participants range in age from teenagers to those in their 70s and perform alongside professionals on the main stage and in the orchestra pit, in a project designed to develop their talent.

The story centres on an online gaming world used as a therapeutic tool in a care home. An elderly resident named Elizabeth uses the game to create her own avatar, and in the virtual world falls in love with the avatar of a teenage boy. The opera explores the importance of friendship and romance at all stages of our lives and examines the impact new technology is having on our sense of identity.

The Imago project is a continuation of Glyndebourne’s long history of innovative education work. The opera house has been staging community operas since 1990 and also delivers a host of other short and long-term initiatives designed to enrich people’s lives through opera.

David Pickard, General Director at Glyndebourne said: “Imago is a new opera addressing entirely contemporary issues so it’s the perfect production to showcase as part of European Opera Days which each year celebrates opera and highlights the continued relevance of the art form. We’re proud to be taking part and bringing this fantastic project to the attention of a wider audience.”

Imago is a co-commission by Glyndebourne and Scottish Opera and supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


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