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Troy Story up for Music Education Oscar

  • Date: 20 January 2014
  • Area: Midlands
Sam Fox as Hector & Jake Oldershare as Achilles battle it out in Troy Story

Sam Fox as Hector & Jake Oldershare as Achilles battle it out in Troy Story. Credit: Talking Birds

National portfolio organisation Talking Birds has been shortlisted for a prestigious award for their ambitious opera project with young people with special needs. 

"Troy Story - An Intergalactic Opera", which was co-produced with Orchestra of the Swan from Stratford, is one of four finalists in the Best Musical Initiative category in the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence - the music education equivalent of the Oscars.

Troy Story is a musical adaptation of Homer's epics The Iliad and The Odyssey, with music by Derek Nisbet and libretto by Nick Walker.

It was performed by 164 strong cast, chorus and orchestra at Birmingham Town Hall in July 2013.

Derek Nisbet, Co-Artistic Director and Composer with Talking Birds said: “Troy Story involved young people from two schools for children with Special Educational needs and four mainstream primary schools performing together with a professional orchestra and soloists on the stage of Birmingham Town Hall.

“For many of the kids it was the first public performance they had been involved in but they more than rose to the occasion. The feedback from the schools and the pupils themselves is that their self-confidence and concentration has increased as a result which we hope will benefit them in other areas of their lives.

“At the heart of our collaboration with these children is a respect for their ideas, creative abilities and sense of humour, and everyone involved is treated as an equal member of the team. It has been a transformational experience for all concerned - as well as being tremendous fun - and we're delighted the work has been recognised in the shortlist for the Award for Best Musical Initiative."

The winner of the award will be announced on Friday 7 February 2014 at an awards ceremony at London's Barbican Centre.

The team is already working on the follow-up to Troy Story - Antony & Cleopatra - The Musical! - which won a public vote for funding from ITV's The People's Millions towards the end of last year. The new show will be premiered in November 2014.