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Scottish Opera

Scottish Opera is Scotland’s national opera company and the largest performing arts organisation in the country, creating and performing opera in theatres and community venues across Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Scottish Opera Primary Schools Tour c Julie Broadfoot

They showcase the widest variety of opera: from the earliest operas of the 17th century, to world premieres from contemporary composers; from pieces for babies, to pieces for people living with dementia.

Scottish Opera’s outreach and education projects ensure that all children, young people and adults can access creative opportunities in music and performance. This includes a training programme for aspiring young singers, a community choir and a series of workshops and performances in schools across Scotland.

The Challenge

Scottish Opera delivers an annual Primary Schools Tour project that engages with 9,000 pupils from over 130 schools across Scotland every year. Around 90 pupils in each school (ages 8 to 12) work alongside three professional singers to learn and perform a 30 minute educational ‘opera in a day’.

To evaluate this project, Scottish Opera have gathered written and numerical feedback from teachers through follow up surveys since 2013. However, this approach does not effectively measure the wide spectrum of benefits gained by the diverse range of pupils and teachers taking part in ‘opera in a day’ workshops

Scottish Opera’s challenge is to create an interactive experience to capture evaluative data from pupils and teachers on their Primary Schools Tour. They are looking for a Challenge Respondent to make evaluation and data capture more fun, engaging and accessible for pupils and teachers.

By embedding evaluation into the creative experience for pupils (rather than it being a subsequent administrative task), Scottish Opera can acquire more detailed information on what participants in each school learn and how they learn. An interactive approach would also help pupils to consolidate their learning from the project, enhancing the Primary Schools Tour offering.

Scottish Opera would like to work with a Challenge Respondent to explore how technology could be used in innovative and creative ways to capture visual and auditory data that links to the themes or content that participants are exploring. A successful solution to this challenge would provide Scottish Opera with a smarter, more efficient process for gathering evaluative data, facilitating the flow of streamlined and comprehensible information that does not require time consuming analysis and interpretation before being useful.

Finding a solution to this challenge will improve Scottish Opera’s reporting to funders, demonstrating the deeper impact of their engagement with schools, and increasing their prospects of securing further funding which can be used to upscale and expand the project to reach more schools domestically and internationally in the future.

For the Challenge Respondent, this is an opportunity to work with one of Scotland’s leading arts organisations on the development of a new product that could have significant impact on the evaluation of participatory projects in the performing arts sector and beyond.

Applications for this Challenge Project are now closed. If you have any questions, please contact us at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.


If you are interested in responding to this challenge please contact the Creative Informatics team.

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