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Powerful 2012 Paralympics production Gold Run premieres at Glyndebourne

  • Date: 23 March 2012
  • Area: South East

Gold Run choir. Credit: Photograph: Andy Hood

Artists with learning disabilities will premiere a major new collaborative arts production this April at Glyndebourne’s famous opera house, supported with Arts Council’s open access Grants for the arts fund.

Gold Run is a new production from three of Arts Council England regularly funded organisations working together: renowned disability arts organisation, Carousel; Chichester visual arts gallery, Pallant House Gallery; and Glyndebourne’s education department.

Gold Run illustrates the power and passion of the Paralympics, inspired by a learning disabled Paralympic athletes inclusion and subsequent 12-year ban, which comes to an end at this year’s London 2012 Paralympic games.

The show takes to the Glyndebourne stage on 1 April 2012, with further performances throughout the year.

Gold Run was made possible through over £55,000 in Arts Council England Grants for the arts awards. Grants for the arts invests National Lottery money to support activities that engage people in the arts and helps artists and arts organisations with their work.

The production features a chorus of singing fictional athletes who passionately relay the highs and lows of this compelling Paralympic story. Specially commissioned films will be projected onto screens to illustrate the fast-paced sporting action, and artistically, the cast and creative team behind the project includes disabled artists working alongside non-disabled individuals.

Gold Run is a creative response to this controversial history, communicating a powerful story through compelling film, music and visual art. The production incorporates a 30-strong choir, original films and one giant sculptural head – designed and created by Pallant House Outside In artist James Lake.

This new production is an original commission created and presented by The Carousel Singers (conducted by James Redwood), Oska Bright filmmakers; Matthew Hellett, Sarah Watson and James Lake. These artists are supported by learning disabled, marginalised and other disabled artists from across the South East and beyond.

Other chances to catch the Gold Run production include a live performance at Brighton Festival on 21 May 2012, at Dilston Grove Gallery, London, and at Chichester Festival Theatre later in the year.

The Gold Run choir, The Carousel Singers, will be singing songs from the production at Brighton Marina on 27 May as the Cultural Olympiad Boat Project yacht departs for Portsmouth. The choir will also feature in the Brighton and Hove Olympic Torch relay celebration on 16 July.

Following the live performances, the work will be transformed into a digital installation, Gold Run: Re-Mix, which will be exhibited throughout the Paralympics at Dilston Grove Gallery, Southwark Park, before touring nationally as part of Pallant House Gallery’s Outside In initiative.

Amy Bere, Glyndebourne Education Manager, said, ‘Gold Run has enabled individuals with challenging disabilities to reach their potential in the arts and achieve significant personal developments by featuring in a main stage production here at Glyndebourne. We are proud and delighted by the achievements of the cast and creative team who have put this phenomenal production together.’

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, said, ‘Arts Council England is delighted to support Gold Run. With the South East as the home of the Paralympics, it's great that a collaborative, multi-art form project like this exists, telling the story of the Paralympic Games through artistic practice and by such talented people. I congratulate all involved for producing something that brings such a fascinating story to life in such an imaginative way.’

Gold Run premieres at Glyndebourne on Sunday 1 April 2012 at 3pm. Tickets can be purchased from For more information about other performances, please see the Gold Run project website: