The canal-based theater show is coming to Manchester this autumn

An arts production organisation, Mr Wilson’s presents a visual theater and song project, Opal’s Comet, the channel-based production conceived and written by Sonya ‘Boo’ Moorhead. Opal’s Comet is a traveling song cycle, touring from late August to late November 2022along the UK’s inland waterways and is made entirely from a river boat.

This autumn Opal’s Comet will embark on an outdoor performance tour of the North of the UK, having started its journey at the Burnley Canal Festival (August 28-29) and then the Littleborough Arts Festival (September 24-25), in Leeds via Canal Connexions (October 9), at HOME MCR as part of the Manchester Folk Festival on October 14 and 15, in Liverpool with the Canal and River Trust between October 26 and November 6, culminating in an appearance at Wigan Light Night on November 18 and 19. All performances are free to the public.

Drawing inspiration from creation myths and the tradition of oral storytelling, Opal’s Comet is a short, tragic story written by Mr. Wilson’s Artistic Director, Sonya ‘Boo’ Moorhead. In response to recent world and personal events, the story was written in 2021 and takes on an allegorical form. It wonders how we might manage personal grief, loss and transformation as, globally, we head towards social collapse and climate crisis.

Speaking about the project, Sonya said, “In 2020 and 2021, our families and communities have experienced so much sadness and loss. Mr Wilson’s is known for its colorful musical celebrations, but not everyone is ready to get back into it. This year we’ve created something exceptionally beautiful and hopeful – Opal’s Comet meets people on their own terms, in their own neighborhoods and offers time and space to reflect.

The Opal’s Comet Tour is a way to bring this epic and hopeful story to the local landscape. Artists Steve Gumbley and Andy Plant were commissioned to visualize and create a sculptural response to the Golden Barge, which will be transported along the canal for each performance.

Mr Wilson’s is a famous arts production organization based in Burnley. The collective of musicians who will perform Opal’s Comet song cycle for Mr Wilson’s are; Sonya ‘Boo’ Moorhead as Singer-Songwriter and Director (Artistic Director, Mr Wilson’s and Singer-Songwriter, The Greyhounds), John Ellis on Piano (The Greyhounds, The Breath, Cinematic Orchestra) and Sarah Dale cello (The Greyhounds, Stella Parton, Petit moineau). Rachael Gladwin on harp (Guy Garvey, Corinne Bailey Rae) also joins the lineup for Burnley and Manchester performances.

Opal’s Comet offers audiences and attendees the opportunity to slow down and take stock, celebrate shared values, honor those we have lost, and discuss how we might navigate a new future.

Opal’s Comet’s journey can also be viewed and followed remotely via social media live streams, podcasts and other digital materials about the artwork, music and journey. For more information and links, check out the official webpage below.

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