Graffeg are delighted to hear that ABC of Opera is the winner of the 6th Annual Amati Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs’ Award 2019.
ABC of Opera Founder and Creative Director, Mark Llewelyn Evans AGSM Dip opera, has over 25 years’ experience as a professional opera singer, singing principal roles with many of the leading opera houses and orchestras throughout Europe and the USA. Mark is also a qualified special needs tutor and mentor for young people.
ABC of Opera started on the island of Sark in 2015 as part of the island’s inaugural opera festival. Mark wanted the festival to be inclusive and so decided to use his experience of teaching and performing to take the children (aged 4 to 15) on the thrilling 500 year – old opera story, in a fun, interactive and educational workshop underpinned with classical music.
Since Sark ABC of Opera is now an initiative that is being delivered in primary schools (KS1-3) across Wales and there is huge evidence that it has a direct and positive impact on young learners. Having now delivered over 260+ workshops using visual arts and story-telling the project links world history, geography, literacy and social developments against a backdrop of classical music. ABC quickly allows confidence, concentration and imagination to grow within the children.
The Amati judging panel commented “Mark’s passion for teaching kids about opera, in an engaging and accessible way, really shone through his presentation. The book Mark has written to support his programme is beautiful and inspiring. Mark could also demonstrate the tangible progress he and his team had made in reaching out to Welsh primary schools, and he fleshed out his ambitious plans for the future, which gave us confidence that he would use the Amati Creative Entrepreneur’s award to great effect.”
The ABC of Opera workshops has inspired a series of children’s books introducing young people to the story of opera and its composers. The Academy of Barmy Composers: Baroque was written by Mark Llewelyn Evans and illustrated by Karl Davies, published in April 2019 by Graffeg. Other books in the series include: The Academy of Barmy Composers: Classical (spring 2020), The Academy of Barmy Composers: Romantic (autumn 2020), and The Academy of Barmy Composers: Modern (spring 2021).