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S e a h o r s e s

The Sygnathidae [1]

A family of fish which includes seahorses, pipefish and seadragons derived from the ancient Greek syn: together and gnathos: jaw i.e. fused jaw.

Brolly are currently developing a new environmental opera work in collaboration with composer Tate Hingorani-Short for children

aged 8 – 11 in partnership with Newham Music, the University of East London and Newham Libraries

which will premiere in spring 2026

 

The opera will feature a diverse cast drawing on spoken word and electronica alongside the classical western traditions. The project brings together opera and literature with the creation of a companion graphic novel to the production exploring key themes including environmental activism, cultural representation and gender identity.

plot

Snout, a short-nosed seahorse, is pregnant and being evicted from his home in the grasslands but needs somewhere safe to have his baby.  Preparations for the inauguration of the new President of All Sygnathidae are in full flow and no one is allowed to enter the city. Forced to wait on the sandbanks at the border Snout meets seahorses, pipefish and seadragons from across the kingdom who are desperate to share important news with the new President of a threat that would affect them all. Snout is determined to help but unwittingly uncovers a secret that will not only put his baby in danger but all the Sygnathidae.

 

 

Our collaboration with Newham Music will allow the participating schools to be integrated into the production by learning a song and rehearsal workshop prior to attendance.

We want young people to be given the opportunity to experience opera that is exciting, accessible and innovative so we enable participating schools to learn songs and reads the graphic novel prior to the performance so they can participate in the production as characters.

There is also the potential for schools to have a ‘rehearsal’ workshop before the show so they not only feel prepared to participate but also to get an insight and understanding into how a rehearsal is run and the creative roles involved.

We will co-host workshops with our library partners with the graphic novel acting as a catalyst to develop literacy and explore the themes of the opera; environmental activism, cultural representation and gender identity -  as well as the creative process of writing, illustration and storytelling.

An environmental opera for children

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