the opera shack
Who are we?
The Opera Shack are a Manchester based arts collective who create innovative and accessible opera in unusual locations.
Founded in 2016 by a group of music students at The University of Manchester, The Opera Shack combines various performing arts, (including music, physical theatre, movement, and spoken word) to create engaging and relevant performances. Through our work, we aim to remove the stigma surrounding opera as elitist and intimidating, and instead bring our immersive performances to a wider demographic.
Emma is a director, singer, teacher and practitioner based in Manchester and the artistic director of The Opera Shack. Emma graduated with a first class degree in music from the University of Manchester, where she performed regularly as a soprano soloist. During her second year, Emma directed the University’s annual opera Rameau’s Castor and Pollux which led her to co-found The Opera Shack, and go on to be the stage director for Manchester Contemporary Youth Opera's inaugural two week course. Emma is passionate about music education and the accessibility of art for all as a tool of empowerment and wellbeing. She was a student ambassador for The Royal Opera House and works with Manchester Rape Crisis, Manchester Action on Street Health, Brighter Sounds and Music Action International.
Max is currently the Marketing Director, occasional poet and performer of The Opera Shack, whilst still studying his final year of Music with Spanish at the University of Manchester. Whilst at Manchester, he has been President of the University’s Chorus, Publicity Director for Ad Solem Chamber Choir, as well as writing and producing a musical called Some Shoes Don’t Fit. Max is also a published poet, and has been a prizewinner with Foyle Young Poets and Tower Poetry competitions. He believes that the accessibility of the arts is a necessity for the happiness of individuals and society, and hope to realise this belief through artistic marketing and The Opera Shack.
Abigail is a conductor, practitioner and singer. She graduated with a first class degree from The University of Manchester, where she was Musical Director of elite chamber choir, Ad Solem, and co-founder of Musica festival and The Opera Shack. Upon leaving university, Abigail was made Assistant Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus after being awarded the Alexander Gibson Memorial Fellowship. She is passionate about increasing accessibility to the arts; she regularly runs music workshops for refugees and women’s groups (The Olympias Music Foundation), homeless participants (Streetwise Opera), and young people (Contact Theatre), witnessing the positive impact this work has on wellbeing. Abigail is an active singer and last year won the prestigious David Clover Festival of Singing recital category.
Chloe graduated with a degree in music from the University of Manchester in 2017, and hopes to begin a Masters course in Theatre and Opera Performance in Berlin in 2019. Chloe is an aspiring opera singer, and has been involved in productions of Manon, Castor et Pollux, and Gianni Schicchi. She continues to perform with various ensembles around Manchester, and will be performing with a Young Artist Opera Festival this summer in productions of A Hand of Bridge and Don Giovanni. Chloe’s desire for more performance opportunities and more widely accessible opera productions led her to co-found The Opera Shack, through which she hopes to highlight opera’s social and political relevance in art culture.
The Opera Shack also offer workshops and courses for young people, allowing students to explore the stories, dramatisation, and musical themes of various operas. We combine excellent standards of performance with a passion for arts education – creating a unique model that inspires students to be creative and confident. Through a variety of one-off workshops and week-long courses led by professional performers, students are taken on an exploration of opera to discover the stories and themes, as well as performing specially arranged extracts from well-known operas themselves.
We believe that arts and culture are integral to the wellbeing and education of all children and are passionate about delivering high quality and enjoyable workshops, which showcase opera's accessibility for all.
To find out more about our educational programmes and performances, please contact Emma Doherty at email@example.com.