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In the fields of Flanders, a young mouse despairs.  She must make a mask for the ball at the full moon — her only chance to find a mate. If she fails, she cannot attend, and she is doomed to a life of loneliness and starvation.  And she is failing.  A mysterious figure comes to her and promises a solution.  But there is a terrible, terrible price....

The Dancing Mice and the Giants of Flanders is a new opera with music by Houston Dunleavy, libretto by Laura E. Goodin, and animation by Ruvani Perumal.  Based on a story written by Laura E. Goodin and published in the anthology Masques (Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, 2009), it tells a gripping and poignant story inspired by a remarkable folk tradition.  In the Flanders region, each town has its "mascot" — a three-metre-high puppet, a "géant" (giant).  These giants are the focus of great local pride and devotion.  They're enchanting, imposing, and more than a little alarming.  Perhaps they are more than they seem.  Perhaps we all are.

We're seeking funding to continue the development of this opera:  specifically, a concert performance of the music (for which we've already secured the participation of the wonderful Alice Girle, Ben Loomes, and Eve Klein), along with some of the preliminary multimedia.  The performance, which will be on August 25 at the Phoenix Theatre in Wollongong, will be followed by a discussion session.  The goals are twofold:  first, to provide a night of terrific new music and drama to the curious and adventurous; and second, to actually hear the music performed for real people, who can (and, hopefully, will) offer real feedback.  The funding will be used for theatre and tech hire, artists' fees, travel and catering expenses, and publicity.

Actually, there is a third goal:  to experiment with crowdfunding, an exciting new model for who has the power to make art happen.  We want to see what happens when individuals like you — not governments, not a moneyed elite class — get to choose.  As one crowdfunding entrepreneur has said, "if you change the question behind funding from 'Will this make money?' to just 'Do I want this to happen?' — a lot more things become possible."

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Dr. Houston Dunleavy, composer (http://www.houstondunleavy.com), has had his work performed in the US, the UK, Australia, Israel, Hong Kong, Thailand, and China, among others. He has extensive experience writing for singers, and has himself performed in numerous operas and musicals.

Laura E. Goodin, librettist (http://www.lauragoodin.com), has had plays and libretti produced in Australia and the UK. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Wet Ink, The Lifted Brow, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and Daily Science Fiction.  She attended the 2007 Clarion South workshop, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of Western Australia.

Note: any funding raised over the target amount will be applied toward the continuing development of the opera.

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on 2nd Aug 2012 at 2:00am. The payment portal is closed now.
A$1 +Our sincere gratitude, and the knowledge that you, personally, are dramatically changing how art is funded.
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A$10 +Our sincere gratitude, the knowledge that you are dramatically changing how art is funded, a listing in the program, PLUS a discounted ticket to the performance.
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A$25 +Our sincere gratitude, the knowledge that you are dramatically changing how art is funded, a listing in the program, PLUS one complimentary ticket to the performance.
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A$50 +Our sincere gratitude, the knowledge that you are dramatically changing how art is funded, a listing in the program, PLUS two complimentary tickets to the performance.
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A$100 +Our sincere gratitude, the knowledge that you are dramatically changing how art is funded, a listing in the program, two complimentary tickets to the performance, PLUS a VIP meet-and-greet with the cast and creative team AND a special presentation copy of the original story, "The Dancing Mice and the Giants of Flanders", by Laura E. Goodin.
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