Swansea City Opera & The Opera School Wales

Court in the Act

To create a new opera - Court in the Act - using the process of creating and performing the opera as a tool to develop character, confidence, self respect and social skills and gain an insight into the consequences of anti-social behaviour. SCO will be working with the young people at Rathbone, a charity which helps and supports young people who have been excluded or need further training to gain the skills they need to get a job.

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  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment


  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



High quality opera might seem to be miles away from the lives and problems of the young people that are helped by the Rathbone Charity - but for this project the professionals from SCO and the young people at Rathbone will come together to create a piece of music theatre based around an ever growing danger in the lives of many– that of Guns, Gangs and Knife Crime. The project will take place over a 6-month period, starting with a few workshop hours each week and leading to an intensive period of work as the premiere performance draws near. The professionals from SCO will aim to challenge and engage the young people and will guide and explain all the techniques involved in setting and performing an opera. With their help the young people will create and devise their own piece that will then be set to music by the Musical Director of SCO. It is intended that this unique work will be created around a courtroom and the legal drama that unfolds within it. Working with animateurs from SCO, the young people will create every aspect of the plot, from the planning and execution of the crime itself, to plotting the police response and eventually building the case against the criminals, which the solicitors, barristers and judge will then enact in the court. The major characters will be played by opera professionals singing and/or acting alongside the young people taking the smaller parts. The jury will be chosen from either other young colleagues or members of the audience, offering the exciting potential of arriving at a different ending or ‘verdict’ at each performance. At every stage of the process, working professionals from the police, prison and legal system will be actively involved in the project, advising and instructing on the correct procedure and terminology. They will work with the young people on a basis of mutual respect and will aim to challenge their perception of the justice system, giving them an insight into the work, problems and moral dilemmas faced by its professionals, and a broader view of the consequences of anti-social behaviour and the use of weapons, both on the victims and on the society in which we all live. This is a project that has enormous potential for not only breaking down ‘elitist’ class barriers, but for encouraging every young person, whether involved in the youth justice system or not, to be a contributor in their community and a positive role model for others. Total expenditure - £110,000 This is a new project, funding found so far £5,000