The world's first opera aimed at revealing the hidden world of Sex Trafficking will premier in Liverpool next month.
Endorsed by a variety of groups including the Salvation Army, Anya 17 tells the story of four young women who are trafficked from Eastern Europe and sold into sexual slavery. Based on research carried out by ten supporting charities, the opera aims to raise awareness about the £20million industry of human trafficking.
Major Anne Read, The Salvation Army’s Anti-Human Trafficking Response Co-ordinator said: "Human trafficking is a sad reality around the world and right here the UK. The plight of men, women and children sold into this modern day slavery cannot be ignored and this new opera will help to raise awareness in a new medium and to reach audiences that might not otherwise hear about this important issue."
"The Salvation Army is deeply committed to fighting human trafficking however it may be manifested and seeks to exercise care in restoring the freedom and dignity of those affected."
According to statistics from a 2008 House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, as many as 800,000 young women and children could be trafficked into the EU each year.
Stop the Traffick, Unseen UK and the UN's Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) are among the groups supporting the opera.
Anya 17 was composed by multi award winning composer Adam Gorb and organisers are promising a "dramatic finale".
Directed by the 'Pete Postlethwaite Award' winning Director Caroline Clegg, the producers say Anya17 deals with the many issues facing victims of Sex Trafficking including, violence or escape through drugs, alcohol and death.
Anya17 will be conducted by Clark Rundell and performed by and The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10. The semi-staged production's Cast has been drawn from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), whose young students have recently spent time with Trafficking victims to complete the research into their roles.
Adam Gorb's last joint venture with Librettist Ben Kaye was 'Eternal Voices', which featured Sir Trevor McDonald OBE and raised over £35,000 for charity. Inspired by the diaries of Royal Marines wounded or killed in Afghanistan, their work was described as both "harrowing" and "uplifting" by critics and enjoyed a sell-out premiere.
The makers of Anya 17 are hoping for similar success when the opera premiers at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool next month. The theatre will open specially for the occasion following its recent one million pound refurbishment.
The second performance will take place in Manchester on March 9th. Plans are currently underway to secure additional performances in London and elsewhere in the UK.
February 14th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes