Constella OperaBallet was initially founded by young people for young people. The primary focus was to provide significant early career opportunities to provide a foundation for a successful and long-lasting career in the arts. Constella's vision has since widened but professional development remains a key focus. Since 2011, Constella has assisted over 500 young people to widen their horizons and realise new professional opportunities, earning it an Unltd award for Social Enterprise in 2011.
The large majority of Constella's productions have included professional mentorship whereby a young person would act as an assistant, cover performer or shadow artist. During this time, they would be paired with a professional Constella artist, receiving continuous support and mentorship throughout the project.
Constella has also provided work experience placements for those at school, further education and higher education to assist in the development of project management.
Constella's first major mentorship venture was built into a production of Sideshows at Sadler's Wells in 2016, providing the opportunity for three cover dancers, two photography/film students, two stage assistants, a costume assistant, a make-up artist and a lighting operation crewmember.
Connecting Stars Emerging Artist Program
Within Connecting Stars, Constella has created a Mentoring scheme designed to provide young performers with the opportunity to develop virtual, interactive concerts. To begin with, Emerging Artists are paired with one of our professionals to shadow concerts and understand the structure and style of Connecting Stars. The second stage involves a shared performance between the Emerging Artist and professional before finally the Emerging Artist performs two solo concerts under the supervision of our Artistic Director Leo Geyer, before graduating to the ranks of our professional team. At each stage, the Emerging Artists have the opportunity to discuss performance practice with other artists in their disciplines and receive detailed personal feedback.
This program allows students a different kind of performance experience, as Connecting Stars is designed to be interactive and is delivered virtually via Zoom. They also gain experience of different audiences, as many of the care homes we work with have limited access to live music due to the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, Constella began a partnership with Trinity Laban College in London, and has worked with six students, successfully enrolling dancers, singers, and instrumentalists into the program.
Reflection Statement from Trinity Laban Student Jemma Love
“Being a part of the Connecting Stars Emerging Artist Programme has been a fantastic experience. Being able to perform in settings and to people that would not other be able to access this sort of experience is an honour and a privilege.
The high level of mentorship and support from Leo and the Constella team has been invaluable; it has allowed me to feel confident about and fully prepared for these performances. The ongoing guidance and feedback from the Constella team has allowed me to consistently produce better work and deliver as much value as possible to the residents. The skills of preparation, reflection and perseverance that I have developed over the past few months have transferred into other areas of my career and has assisted me in building my profile in the industry at a challenging time.
The work that Constella does with the Connecting Stars programme lights up the rooms of both the performer and the care home, and I have seen first hand the joy and engagement brought to both the residents and care staff. It only makes me wish that my Grandma, who died with dementia in 2019, had been able to take part in such a genuinely therapeutic and life-affirming programme.”
- Jemma Love 2022
To see the details of our current Emerging Artists and their profiles, head to the about page