Arts Jobs


Opportunity for a Writer Collaborator, Composer Amanda Johnson


I am Amanda Johnson, a classical composer and violinist based in Sheffield. I explore the themes of migration, travel and freedom, combining recorded sound with instruments and voices. I am looking to collaborate with a female identifying writer on my exciting new opera, Thea. The successful candidate will collaborate with me and write the words or libretto of the opera, which I will set to music. Together we will develop the main character of Thea, around which the whole opera will be built. Thea is inspired by one of my Bargee Traveller ancestors, who spent her life living and working on boats. This project is very close to my heart. It is the story of one woman, who against all the odds, constantly strived towards a better life for herself and her children. Thea may appear insignificant. She was not famous. She made no great discoveries and was not wealthy. She was a Traveller leading a difficult life, yet her life and story is one that many people can relate to.

I have a week-long creative residency confirmed with Britten Pears Arts in Spring next year to support the development of Thea. The residency programme provides support and development opportunities for artists of all kinds, providing a safe and supportive space to take creative risks. This will be a development opportunity for both of us to attend the residency at Snape Maltings in Suffolk together, as collaborators. We will have the opportunity to work with a singer and a mentor to start to bring the character of Thea to life.

I am currently writing an Arts Council application which, if successful, would fund a period of writing for us both, in the lead up to and following the residency. No previous experience of working in opera is necessary, as creative support and development will be provided during the residency. I am more excited to find out what you personally can bring to the project and your ideas about collaboratively shaping the character of Thea. 

For the full brief please email

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Photo, Crowds enjoying Garden of Light, by TILT. Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by Mayor of London. Credit Matthew Andrews 2016.

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Photo, Jennie Gill, Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield. Photo Our Favourite Places / Nigel Barker for Yorkshire Artspace.