Article by Francois Matarasso – Learning the right lessons
Ten days ago, at home in France, I watched a live stream of a performance happening in Portugal. Nós. Vocês. Toda a gente. (Us. You Guys. Everyone.) was the first sight of the opera being co-created by inmates and staff at Leiria Youth Prison, with their families and the professional musicians and educators of SAMP. People had been working towards this evening for months and months, so it could not have felt more important. I knew how much the process had been constrained by the pandemic: barely a third of the planned workshops had taken place inside the prison, and even less of the community work had been possible. I knew too that, in creating a single show with performers in a Lisbon concert hall and in a prison 90 miles away, we were stretching the capabilities of our novel technology, less because of the Traction software than because of the unreliability of internet connection and bandwidth. And I knew how sanitary and security requirements had defined what could be done, how, where and by whom.
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