CrossOpera, from Linz, Modena and Novi Sad wins the Creative Europe grant for best cooperation projects

CrossOpera Otherness: fear and discovery, is a project winner of EU Creative Europe program cooperation grant 2017. The project joints 3 opera theatres from 3 different countries: Teatro Comunale di Modena (Italy), Landestheater Linz (Austria) and Serbian National Theater from Novi Sad (Serbia). Both Linz and Novi Sad are Modena twin cities. The main action of the project is to co-produce a new opera whose 3 acts will develop short stories commissioned to 3 different composers representing each country. All composers will work on the same given subject: “Otherness: fear and discovery”, sensitive to intercultural clash and integration. The subject of the work will develop three different stories concerning the recent immigration towards the countries of the European Union.

CrossOpera started with the commission of the 3 acts opera to the Serbian composer Jasmina Mitrusic, the Italian Luigi Cinque and the German Valentin Ruckebier. The priority of the project is the transnational mobility of artists and musicians. A travelling artistic team made of singers and musicians will follow a week of music rehearsals of each act in every theatre (‘Austrian’ act in Linz, ‘Serbian’ act in Novi Sad, ‘Italian’ act in Modena) with the guide and supervision of the local composer. The staging of the opera will start in Modena, where a last round of music rehearsal and the stage rehearsals of the whole opera will be followed by the première of the show. Following Modena, the opera production with the whole team will travel to the Landestheater Linz and the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad. The opera will go on stage on May 2020.

The opera will be sung in the local language of every act, Serbian, German and Italian while supertitles will translate the opera in the language where it is performed. The vocal cast, 6 singers, two per each nationality, will remain the same in all performances and will all sing in three languages. The singers will take advantage of the 3 vocal coaches provided one by each theatre to learn their parts in a foreign accent.

Following the Creative Europe guidelines, the project encourages the transnational mobility of artists and professionals, as well as the transnational circulation of cultural and creative works, the aim of which is to promote cultural exchanges, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, understanding for cultural diversity and social inclusion. Cross-border and mobility strategy is as well aimed at capacity building for cultural operators involved in the project to work transnationally and internationally. Reaching new and wider audiences and triggering intercultural and interfaith dialogue, respect for diverse cultures and cultural expressions, and facilitating the integration of refugees are also CrossOpera priorities to meet Creative Europe perspectives.

Although the translational production of the opera will be at the core of the project, the activities radiating from the main task aim to fulfill a number of subjects of particular interest for the European cultural program. All of them will help to enhance and develop the identity, the cultural awareness and the vision of the partners and its audiences at a European Union level, well beyond local and national levels. Actions during the stays in the three different countries will include training and activities in audience development and interaction with local communities, including efforts to reach usually under-represented groups such as refugees.