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Puppetry in Opera at Barbican and Central

Published: 2 October 2012

The Puppet Centre, a development agency for the art of puppetry will present a two-day event at the Barbican and Central School of Speech and Drama in November.

The event will be organised and run by Linda Lewis, director of the Puppet Centre which is based at Battersea Arts Centre in London, and run over two days on 9 and 10 November.

The first day will be at the Barbican and will include presentations and discussions from director and visual artist William Kentridge who has directed for Handspring Puppet Theatre Company, David Pountney, Japanese opera director Nori Sawa, Royal Swedish Opera's head of education Anna Karinsdotter, Alberto Jona from Controluce in Italy, social and cultural historian Daniel Snowman and Puppet Centre founder Penny Francis MBE.

Students will be given the opportunity to work at Trinity Laban with emerging opera directors and puppetry directors under the direction of Linda Hirst and Cariad Astles on new short operas composed by Judith Weir (King Harald's Saga) and Evelyn Ficarra (The Empresses' Feet), which will be performed in the Barbican Pit on 9 November.

The second day will be at Central School of Speech and Drama and will include workshops, presentations and masterclasses from Phelim Mc Dermott, Mark Down, John Fulljames, Steve Tiplady, Bill Bankes Jones, Chris Pirie and Stefan Fichert.

Linda Lewis says of the event, which is funded by Grants for the Arts and the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, "Puppet Centre has created and promoted this initiative from its inception and is excited to have the resources to deliver Puppetry in Opera. New ways of creating theatre, using collaborations and fusions of art forms such as puppetry and opera, can influence an inspiring approach by artists for the future."

For more information, see www.puppetcentre.org.uk.

David Chadderton