Imago the Opera

Imago won the Royal Philharmonic Society award for Learning and Participation at the RPS awards dinner on 13 May 2014.

Imago changes the dynamic between youth and age to produce a startling and moving story about what happens when wishes refuse to die.

Arts Council England

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Bed-bound in a care home, an eighty-year-old woman, Elizabeth, creates an imago, an eighteen year old digital version of herself. Launched in to a digital world, her imago, Lisette, enables her to experience the things she feels she is too old to do. In the parallel world, her new self falls in love with an imago, Gulliver, projected by a fifteen year old boy.

The story

The people behind Imago

Following the success of Knight Crew in 2010, we commissioned Es Devlin and Bronia Housman (designers), Orlando Gough (composer), Stephen Plaice (librettist) and Susannah Waters (director) to devise and create Imago, a new opera for the digital age.

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Imago premiered at Glyndebourne in early March 2013 with a cast including professional singers and performers drawn from the local community. The Aurora Orchestra were joined by young instrumentalists who were conducted by Nicholas Collon.

Orlando’s previous community opera, On the Rim of the World, received its world premiere at Glyndebourne in 2009, whilst Stephen Plaice wrote the libretto for a number of previous Glyndebourne projects, including Misper, Zoe and School4Lovers.

Susannah founded the production company The Paddock in Lewes and has worked at Glyndebourne previously as a singer, performing the roles of Cherubino in the 1997 Festival production of The Marriage of Figaro and Papagena in the 1990 production of Die Zauberflöte.

Nicholas Collon conducted Glyndebourne’s successful community opera Knight Crew and is Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra.

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Find out more on the Imago blog and watch the video diary from Chorus member Hazel.

Imago Funders


Special thanks go to Eastbourne College for their generous support.

Why is there a time limit?

Due to demand from other customers seats are reserved for a maximum of 20 minutes in order to allow you to complete your purchase. If the order has not been completed within this time, all seats will be removed from your basket.