The inti­mate the­atre at Rose­hill, West Cum­bria has host­ed many Mahogany Opera events



Mahogany Opera's new home

Mahogany Opera's new home at Rosehill Theatre, Cumbria

This month we’re moving our administrative base from the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and from now on will operate as a fully remote company, registered with Rosehill Theatre in West Cumbria. With a team based in Glasgow, Cumbria, Huddersfield, London and Berlin the company is already accustomed to remote working. This move will further our commitment to developing relationships with key hubs outside of London, as well as to environmental and financial sustainability.

Mahogany Opera has been based at the ICA since 2017 and the venue for radical art and culture in London hosted our Various Stages Showcase in 2017. They were set to do so again in 2020 when the pandemic forced us to cancel that year’s event.

We have enjoyed a creative partnership with Rosehill, on the outskirts of Whitehaven, for several years and we are delighted that our official ‘home’ will now be there. Mahogany Opera first worked with Rosehill in 2015 on an acclaimed production of Krasa’s Brundibár. Nearly 100 local primary school children took part and the show won Best Production at Cumbria Life Culture Awards.

This project inspired Mahogany Opera to create our award-winning Snappy Operas primary schools programme, and we collaborated with Rosehill from the beginning stages of the programme. Errollyn Wallen’s The Lighthouse Wave was developed with children from Jericho Primary School and the very first mass performance of Snappy Operas took place at Whitehaven Civic Hall in 2017.  Rosehill have continued to perform Snappy Operas with local schools and in 2019, Snappy Opera musical director Stephen Deazley created a new song in response to The Magical Music Tree - another Snappy Opera - with a young choir at Rosehill. We have plans to develop a new Snappy Opera in a SEND school in Cumbria, and aim to bring other strands of work to the area, developing more connections with local artists, audiences and communities.

Mahogany Opera Artistic Director Frederic Wake-Walker said: “Some of the most inspiring and magical Mahogany moments have occurred in Cumbria with Rosehill. The energy and thirst for music and theatre across the area is infectious. I can’t wait to continue the journey together and to call West Cumbria our home.”

Rosehill Executive Director Deanne Shallcross said: “Being the registered address for Mahogany as they look to establish key hubs outside of London is an exciting development for Rosehill. This latest step feels a natural progression following the work we’ve achieved together over the years and we look forward to collaborating on even more great projects to come!

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