Fair Opera


Fair Opera is a five year long project, initiated by Kulturverket, involving children, students, music acadamies, a symphony orchestra and professional librettist and composer. The production opens in Umeå 2014.

Four subjects from the Convention of the Rights of the Child form the base for the project. The four subjects are Expression, Progress, Justice and Dignity. These are transformed into music, dance and lyrics, by children and young people in Sweden, Italy and Portugal. The material, created by the children, is then handed over to professional artists, who will put together a full scale opera, by interpreting and being inspired by the children’s work.

The process started in the autumn of 2010, with children aged 5-8 years, who together with their teacher discussed the meaning of the four subjects mentioned above. They then had to create rules for “fair music”, and make music, based on these rules. Creating the music they used computers and music software, and the results of this work now form the base for the entire project. Older children, aged 9-16 (music students), developed the younger children’s work, but they had to obey the rules the younger children had come up with for creating “fair music”.

During the autumn of 2010 we also arranged for a national short story competition, where the four subjects, Justice, Expression, Dignity and Progress, were the theme. We received over a 100 short stories, and passed these on to the University of Umeå, to the Script for TV and film Program, where the students transformed the short stories into librettos.

In the third face of the project, May 2011 – May 2012, the music created by the children, and the librettos based on the short stories, were sent to music academies in Riga, Piteå, Rome and Perugia. The students at these academies created, according to the “fair music rules”, 10 minutes opera per city.

In June of 2012 the material from the music academies was delivered to internationally acclaimed composer Jan Sandström, and librettist KG Johansson, who will compose/write a full length opera. The same rules for “fair music” apply! In 2014 the opera opens in Umeå, and hopefully digitally in the participating cities around Europe.