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January 2020 - December 2022

Opera uses all the visual and performing arts to create extraordinary worlds of passion and sensibility. It is rightly recognized as a great achievement of European culture. And yet a form that once inspired social and artistic revolutions is often seen as the staid preserve of the elite. With rising inequality and social exclusion, many see opera—if they think of it at all—as symbolic of what is wrong in Europe today. TRACTION aims to change that using opera as a path for social and cultural inclusion, making it once again a force for radical transformation. We do not want to make opera palatable to those who don’t attend. We want to define new forms of artistic creation through which the most marginalized groups (migrants, the rural poor, young offenders and others) can work with artists to tell the stories that matter now. By combining best practice in participatory art with digital technology’s innovations of language, form and process, we will define new approaches to co-creation and innovate in three fields: a) Opera creation and production; b) Immersive and interactive digital media; and c) Social integration and community development. Experimental projects in inner-city Barcelona (ES), a youth prison in Leiria (PT) and rural communities in Ireland will test and share new ideas.