shetland odyssey

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Stuart King

Helen Sharp

Marcus Barcham-Stevens

Evgeny Chebykin

Emma Feilding

Lise Sinclair

Bill Bankes-Jones

Anne Sinclair

Margaret Peterson

Claire Shovelton


Shetland Project Team

March 2006:
Stuart King – clarinet
Evgeny Chebykin – horn
Marcus Barcham-Stevens – violin
Helen Sharp – harp
Claire Shovelton (manager/chronicler)
Anne Sinclair - knitter

November/December 2006:
Stuart King – clarinet
Marcus Barcham-Stevens – violin
Emma Feilding - oboe/cor anglais
Bill Bankes-Jones - director of Odysseus Unwound
Claire Shovelton (manager/chronicler)
Lise Sinclair - poet/musician
Margaret Peterson - knitter/spinner

Background to CHROMA

CHROMA was founded in 1997 and has become most closely associated with the performance of contemporary music, forging close links with many prominent British composers through an extensive series of premières and collaborations.

CHROMA is committed to outreach and education work, which ranges from work in hospitals and schools to composer’s workshops and masterclasses. CHROMA is the ensemble-in-residence at Royal Holloway and Bedford College.

Background to Tête à Tête

Tête à Tête was founded in 1997 by Bill Bankes-Jones, Katie Price and Orlando Jopling to bring uplifting, surprising, daring and intimate opera productions of the highest quality to the widest possible audiences.

(Details from the funding applications)
Aims and objectives

The Shetland Odyssey schools workshops in Shetland are designed to inspire children to pursue their own musical path – to ground them in the basics of music making, and provide them with access to professional musicians who can guide and encourage them.

The workshops aim to enhance the children’s composing and writing skills, and also stimulate their interest in the traditional local crafts of knitting and spinning, as they see these craftspeople in a new context.

Workshop content

Homer’s Odyssey is rich in source material, and resonates strongly for the communities on Shetland, with its geography, and a hero island-hopping his way home.

The schools programme will involve each school group developing its own interpretation of an episode from Homer’s Odyssey, such as Odysseus and Polyphemus, or the Sirens, or Calypso, with each group working towards a performance of these pieces.

The workshops do not just include music – the children will be writing their own words too, and exploring drama as well as new applications of the traditional local craft of knitting. The workshops explore this fusion of creative forms, in parallel with the opera itself.

The children will:

  • hear their compositions played by professional musicians, inspiring them to greater heights of music-making
  • have access to instruments not usually available to them on the islands, such as the French horn and full-sized concert harp
  • take up the challenge of telling a mythic story through words, music and crafts, leading to performances for their communities
  • have access to opera professionals, and the inside workings of mounting an operatic production
  • learn how to enjoy and appreciate opera, particularly new opera
  • have their interest in traditional Shetland crafts of knitting and spinning stimulated by working with these craftspeople in a new context

Fair Isle


Dawn breaks over Yell (seen from Uyeasound, Unst)