In-person event

A New Sound

Join us for a day of creative discussion with other makers of multi-disciplinary and music driven performance to identify how we overcome barriers and envision a future together.

20 February 2024
10am - 5pm
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A New Sound

20th February 10:00 AM 5:00 PM GMT

We are living at a time of extraordinary crisis. What can we do collectively to pick a path through the current uncertainty? Join us for a day of creative discussion with other makers of multi-disciplinary and music driven performance to identify how we overcome barriers and envision a future together.

A New Sound is for artists in the field of opera, music theatre, music driven performance. The day will be led by Mahogany Opera, Edinburgh Futures Institute, and Snap – Elastic. Please note that some of the sessions will be quite physical, so please wear clothes you are comfortable to move around in.

Following the day at the Edinburgh Futures Institute we would love for you to join us for a drink. Location: TBC.

The Day

Finding Common Ground

Introductory and closing sessions led by Frederic Wake-Walker, Mahogany Opera

What burning questions, ideas and concerns would you like to explore today? Through movement, singing and writing exercises inspired by Mahogany’s recent Great Learning project, we will come together as a group, gather expectations and themes, collectively define the communal threads of the day and formulate some key actions and principles to take away with us.

Being a freelance artist making music and theatre can often feel like a lonely or isolated place to be. Let’s find some solace in sharing and strength in community.

How to Get Things Going with the Skills You Already Have

A Self – Producing Workshop with Snap – Elastic

Eszter Marsalko and Claire Willoughby of Snap-Elastic will lead a workshop aimed at artists interested in self producing, to unpack how best to get started and realise your work. How can we support each other and pool our resources at a time when they are most scarce? In this workshop, we will connect with our inner Artist, and explore the ways in which those creative intuitions can best serve us, and our community as a whole.

Utopia Lab

Session led by Jennifer Williams, Edinburgh Futures Institute

Utopia Labs are ‘no-spaces’, places where everyone is welcome to join us in dreaming futures that inspire our experience of the present. In this session, we will be dreaming about the future of opera and art-making: what is your utopian vision? What do you want for your own work in the future, and how do you envisage the community and artform in 10 years, 50 years, 100 years? What can we learn about these desires and imagined futures that can influence how we act and create today? What does it mean to make work that can change the way we think and behave, that can encourage us to think about the world in new ways, that can inspire and support positive change… and also be a wonder to behold?

Utopia is movement, meditation, poetry and imagination – you can participate in ways that feel good for you! For more information about Utopia Labs, please see our website:

A more detailed schedule will be distributed to attendees a few days before the event.

About the session leaders

Mahogany Opera

Mahogany Opera is a leading commissioner and producer of new opera and music theatre. We work across the UK and internationally. Our vision of opera as an inclusive, collaborative, and dynamic artform informs our aim to stretch the boundaries of what opera can be and who it is for.

We are committed to developing diverse artists and audiences through three programmes:
Snappy Operas – award-winning participatory young people’s programme
Various Stages – R&D programme supporting artists and new ideas
Commissioning innovative work for the stage through partnerships

Edinburgh Futures Institute

EFI is a cross-University institute, with active working relationships with Schools across the University. At the Edinburgh Futures Institute we challenge, create, and make change happen. We are focused on tackling today’s increasingly complex issues by bringing people and disciplines together to spark the unexpected and make better futures possible.


Snap – Elastic is an artist-led performance collective making multidisciplinary work for diverse audiences. The three core members are experienced artists and creative leaders, with backgrounds in theatre, clown, opera and movement, and they work hard to embrace innovation, to play, and to engage in cross-form performance and collaboration.

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Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9JU United Kingdom
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Join us to challenge, create, and make change happen.