Category Archives: Classical Arts marketing

ENO makes BIG splash with mini comp

If writing for opera sounds like something you’ve always wanted to try, but you never dreamed you’d have a chance to try it, you need to know about English National Opera’s (ENO) new Mini-Opera writing competition.

Somebody’s going to win BIG with something mini, and it might as well be you.

Who should enter this competition? The better question is who shouldn’t enter this competition. No one, that’s who. If you can write, compose, create with film, there are no barriers to trying your hand at writing opera.

But you better get on it–the script-writing portion is already underway.

See, the ENO is seeking the next generation of opera talent–librettists and writers, composers, and filmmakers–and has devised a brilliant way to engage up-and-coming artists.

And if you win the competition, you have a chance to be mentored for a year by some of the  most talented and successful creatives working in opera today: Jeremy Sams, Nico Muhly or Leo Warner.

ENO’s Mini-Operas has three parts:

  • Script Competition (March 26 to May 21)
  • Soundtrack Competition (June 4 to July 23)
  • Filmmaking  Competition (August 6 to September 24)

ENO has made the whole competition timeline available here.

Since every great opera starts with a libretto, that’s where this competition begins.

For starters, some wonderfully inspiring writers — Will Self, A.L. Kennedy and Neil Gaiman — have each generated seed stories. Those interested in entering the script competition must read the seed stories and pick one that inspires them to write a script for a 5-7 minute opera based on that story. In terms of inspiration, anything goes: a single word, title, a mood or even a character name, as the guidelines suggest. All scripts must be in English.

In May, ENO will pick 10 scripts going through to the next round.  Those scripts will become the seeds that people will compose soundtracks for in the next leg of the competition.  Remember that the script will be set to music by someone else and that words can take a lot longer to sing than to read, so “less is definitely more.”

Writers have until May 21 to write their scripts and enter them using ENO’s online form.

For those who might benefit from some extra coaching in the script-writing department, ENO’s  resident author Tamsin Collison has written examples for each story.  They plan to add more expert help to the site before the May 21 deadline, so do check back at the Mini-Operas site for more tips.

What do have to lose? Your mini-opera could be a BIG winner!

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Classical Arts marketing, Classical Music, Collaborative opera, creative promotions, opera competitions, opera milestones

Bachtrack launches One Stop Arts, new arts listings and review site showcasing London

Shakespeare's King John at the Union Theatre

Today, Bachtrack unveiled its classy new website called “One Stop Arts” at, which aims to do for the London arts scene what Bachtrack did for classical music. One Stop Arts adds plays, musicals, museums, exhibitions, galleries and modern dance to the classical music, opera and ballet that has been Bachtrack’s staple. There are already several thousand performance dates on the site, with coverage planned to increase rapidly.

“To date we have concentrated our efforts on the classical sector, but we are equally passionate about the rest of the arts,” says Alison Karlin, Bachtrack founder. “I’ve spoken to many people who don’t believe there is an existing arts site which adequately serves their needs. One Stop Arts is already crammed with events, and we look forward to hearing from arts curators and marketeers to add many more.”

One Stop Arts builds on Bachtrack’s expertise in complex listings databases, adding a completely new graphic design. The result is a website that makes it phenomenally easy to zero in on a performance you’re looking for, as well as being fun to browse around if you didn’t have any fixed ideas to start with. “Classical concerts are about as tricky as listings get,” says David Karlin, Bachtrack founder, “because concert-goers can be so specific about precisely which symphony or soloist they want to see. For One Stop Arts, we’ve built a completely new technology platform to provide great searching and browsing on an even richer and more extensive set of data.”

Dickens and Ghosts at the British Library through March 4

Bachtrack’s customers are enthusiastic. “The combined strengths of Bachtrack’s deep database and One Stop Arts’ broad cultural appeal will make this site a must for all classical music marketers,” says Jo Johnson, head of digital marketing at the London Symphony Orchestra.

One Stop Arts reviews cover items as diverse as the Anselm Kiefer’s artworks at the White Cube, Man in the Middle (Ron Elisha’s docu-drama about Julian Assange) and the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy. Alison Karlin puts the aims of One Stop Arts succinctly: “As a Londoner all my life I want those who live in London or simply visit this amazing city to appreciate quite how much it has to offer.”

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You can receive status updates on One Stop Arts by liking their Facebook page. You can also follow them on Twitter @onestoparts!

Congratulations, Alison and David!

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Filed under Classical Arts marketing, Opera Marketing