(L-R) Councillor Jane Mudd, Rhian Hutchings and Martin Palmer from UK Steel Enterprise
A Welsh start-up has received funding to support its mission to help young people discover the joys of opera.
Operasonic is a not-for-profit organisation based in Newport which collaborates with schools and youth organisations in the city. Founder Rhian Hutchings, who directed the Youth & Community programme at Welsh National Opera for seven years before forming the business, said: “We enable young people to own opera, as audiences, as participants, as creators as leaders.
“Young people need contemporary opera created on their terms and in their communities, venues, schools and online spaces.”
Collaborating with composers and directors, she works with young people to create productions such as Newport Legends and the new mini-opera Tales of the Ocean.
Newport City Council and Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise jointly supported Operasonic with a Start Up Business grant to help the business get off the ground.
Rhian said: “This was very important when the business started, and enabled us to build a website and to buy other essential equipment.”
Martin Palmer of UK Steel Enterprise said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Operasonic. The business enhances the cultural wealth of the city, and it is pleasing that it works with young people to enrich their experience of the arts.”
Councillor Mudd, Newport City Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Operasonic is a fantastic and fun initiative that introduces young people to opera in way that they can relate to. I’m so pleased that, together with UK Steel Enterprise, we have been able to assist such an exciting new venture. Good luck to Rhian and I’m sure she will inspire many, many young people with her enthusiasm.”
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