Mad for opera?

Ever considered writing an opera? I don’t think there are many showing their hands (or likes, follows or whatever we’re meant to do in the 2.0th century).

Perhaps it’s due to this lack of supply that has prompted the English National Opera to launch Mini Operas, a competition to find new opera-writing talent.

You don't have to be mad to write opera, but...

The competition launches on March 26th on the Mini Operas site, but Neil Gaiman Рwho is judging the competition along with Terry Gilliam, Will Self, and AL Kennedy Рhas already announced it on his blog. Most interestingly the budding writers will have to choose from three storylines set by the judges.

In addition to scriptwriters the ENO wants a composer and even a filmmaker, but we know it’s all about the writing (okay, and fat ladies singing).

Former Python Terry Gilliam reckons:¬†“Opera is really, really hard to do well. I know. I want people to find it out for themselves. I‚Äôll be judging, and I want to find future stars who can work with this ridiculous, stupefying, insane, wonderful artform.

“Good on ENO for trying to find anyone mad enough to have a go.”

No word on what the prize is, but I’m guessing it will have¬†something¬†to do with putting on an opera.

By Jonathan Richardson

Jonathan Richardson is a writer and the editor of Considered Words.

He's worked as a journalist, writer and analyst for organisations including the BBC and Which? He's also written for the stage in Cambridge, radio and sketches at the Edinburgh festival.

He's now a freelance writer and data analyst.

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