Edinburgh International Festival’s Standard Life Aberdeen Opening Event: Five Telegrams announces major opportunities for Scotland’s young people

  • Scotland’s Young People will be a driving force behind the Edinburgh International Festival’s Opening Event marking the Centenary of the end of the First World War and Scotland’s Year of Young People
  • Young people to play integral role in realising innovative the large scale multi-media work, from co-design, through to production and delivery of Five Telegrams  
  • Exciting range of opportunities for Scotland’s young people to participate, including a call for a 250 strong youth chorus
  • The Standard Life Aberdeen Opening Event: Five Telegrams takes place outside the Usher Hall on 3 August 2018, 10.30pm

Today the Edinburgh International Festival issued a call to Scotland’s young people to lend their voice in realising its spectacular opening event.

The Standard Life Aberdeen Opening Event: Five Telegrams is a free, outdoor performance comprising large-scale illuminations and projections on the Usher Hall and a new work for orchestra and chorus which opens the International Festival on the 3 August 2018.

The Standard Life Aberdeen Opening Event: Five Telegrams marks both 100 years since the end of the First World War and celebrates Scotland’s Year of Young People, and will be co-designed by young people, providing a poignant reflection on the thousands of young lives lost in the First World War.

Young performers are invited to participate in bringing to life the artistic vision of event creators Anna Meredith, one of the country’s most exciting contemporary composers, and Tony Award winning artists 59 Productions. 250 young people from across Scotland are being sought to form a youth chorus which will perform live during the event. This incredible opportunity is open to young people aged 16 – 26 who would enjoy singing with their peers and would like to take part in the International Festival  in front of an audience of thousands, as part of this unique event. The youth chorus will be led by Stephen Deazley, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Love Music Community Choir. No previous singing experience is required as participants will be guided through the rehearsal and performance process. All participants will also receive a Year of Young People Participation Certificate signed by the First Minister.

A range of job opportunities specifically for young people are also announced today which will see them take on active roles across every aspect of the event. Roles available include Camera Operators and Filming Coordinators to assist in capturing the event, and Event Assistants who will work directly alongside International Festival staff to ensure the successful promotion and delivery of the Opening Event.   

The International Festival is also working in partnership with the University of Edinburgh as second year and third year students from Edinburgh College of Art’s Performance Costume course work to create designs and costumes which will feature as part of the event. The 35 students involved in the project have co-designed a creative brief centred on Five Telegram’s core themes and have collaborated with 59 Productions and Anna Meredith directly throughout their creative process.  

Kathryn Weaving, an Edinburgh College of Art 3rd Year Performance Costume Student, and Wardrobe Assistant for the Standard Life Aberdeen Opening Event said, “It's really exciting to have the opportunity to be a part of the opening event at the International Festival as a wardrobe assistant. Already I've learnt a lot from working with the rest of the team, and it'll be really interesting to see what's involved in producing an event of this size. As a student, having a paid opportunity to work on such a high profile event with experienced professionals really is invaluable, and the skills I'm gaining will be incredibly useful in my career.”

Working in partnership with Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, the involvement of young people in the opening event has been specifically designed to offer empowering, educational and professional development opportunities alongside access to training and skills based work experience. It will connect the vibrant voices and talent of today’s young people with stories of those who gave or lost their youth to the First World War.

To apply to be a youth chorus participant of Standard Life Aberdeen Opening Event: Five Telegrams, please complete the online application form – www.eif.co.uk/about/creative-learning/young-people

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