top of page

Call to creatives 

Opera as activism! 

Tŷ Cerdd & Music Theatre Wales present

FREE workshop days in Street-Art Opera skills – Bangor & Cardiff, June 2023

Music Theatre Wales are about to introduce a new form of opera making to Wales – Street Art Operas. Dreamt up by the Irish public art company Dumbworld in collaboration with Irish National Opera, this is opera as activism. The Scorched Earth Trilogy will be performed in Bangor, Haverfordwest and Cardiff in May and June.


Alongside the tour, Music Theatre Wales is partnering with Tŷ Cerdd's CoDI artist-development initiative to offer two skills-development days for Welsh artists and creatives:

  • Cardiff (Chapter), Saturday 17 June

  • Bangor (Pontio), Monday 19 June


The workshops

If you’ve got a burning issue you want to raise, a story you want to explore or celebrate, an idea that could come to life through image, text, and music in an outdoor location, then this could be for you. Join Dumbworld’s co-founders, director John McIlduff and composer Brian Irvine for a day of training and insight on Street Art Operas.


This promises to be an informative and collaborative day of skills-development and workshopping for professional artists from any performing arts or visual arts discipline. You will have the opportunity to share your ideas for your own street art opera and see some of your ideas come to life on the day. John and Brian will lead discussions, from writing the libretto and music to shooting with green screen and post-production, and will offer hands-on creative opportunities.


Following the workshops, Music Theatre Wales would like to commission two new Street Art Operas from Welsh artists, and this is your chance to find out more about what it takes to make a street art opera come to life.


As with any kind of opera, collaboration will be key and so MTW are looking for artists, composers, writers, directors, musicians (of all genres), animators, video makers, visual artists, street and graffiti artists, illustrators and anyone interested in discovering more about making new Street Art Opera together.



How to apply

Upload the following information to our portal

  1. Personal details: your name, email address, mobile number, address, and confirmation that you are over 18

  2. Tell us which location would you like to attend? Cardiff or Bangor

  3. Tell us about your practice and why would you like to be take part in the workshop? What would you like to achieve through participating? 

  4. Do you require a travel bursary? If so, where will you be travelling from?

  5. Examples of your work: please attach 2 links or attachments to your creative work (NB: please send links rather than sound or video files; if you need help creating links, let us know.)


Video applications are also welcomed. Record your video answering question 3 above (up to 3 minutes’ duration), and upload a link to your video, adding the information requested in questions 1,2, 4 & 5 to the upload form. If you need help creating a link to your video, email us for help.



Deadline for applications: 1000 on Friday 26 May


We want to remove as many barriers as we can – if there’s anything you’d like to talk to us about, please email Tŷ Cerdd or Music Theatre Wales, who will try to help to find a solution.


About the workshop leaders & partners


John McIlduff

John is a librettist, writer, stage director, producer, and filmmaker, whose work spans opera, television, film, theatre, music videos, commercials, installations and even the odd song lyric.


A graduate of L’École de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, an Edinburgh Fringe First Winner, and a Total Theatre Innovation Award nominee, John is interested in exploring how arts practice can intersect, combine, evolve, and democratise.


Most recently his work has combined traditional analogue performance with digital technologies to transform how opera is presented and experienced – taking the art form out of the opera house and onto the streets and attracting new (and younger) audiences.


Brian Irvine

Brian was born in Belfast. His unique musical world combines the known and the unknown, the free and the fixed, the schooled and the unschooled. He is driven by a single desire to connect, disrupt, reinvent, and reimagine all aspects of life, people, society, art and understanding in any and as many ways possible. His music is a highly personal concoction of punk, improvisation and contemporary classical.


Nominated for five British Composer Awards and winner of two, Brian’s huge output includes operas, large scale oratorios, orchestral, ensemble, chamber, solo and dance works as well as film scores and installations.


Dumbworld is a multidisciplinary, creative production company working across performance, digital, installation and film.


Dumbworld's Street Art Operas:


Music Theatre Wales

Since 1988, MTW has been a force for change and development in opera in the UK. Driven by a passionate belief that newly created opera can provide some of the most exciting and powerful experiences, and they have always wanted to share this as widely as possible.

Street Art Opera logos.png
bottom of page