Rebecca Hurst
Writer, opera maker, workshop facilitator

Rebecca Hurst is a writer, opera-maker, and illustrator, and author of The Fox's Wedding (The Emma Press, 2022). Born in East Sussex, and for 13 years a resident of the US, she now lives in Greater Manchester. In 2021 a selection of her poems were published in the Carcanet anthology, New Poetries VIII. Her first collection of poetry, The Iron Bridge, is forthcoming with Carcanet in 2024.

Rebecca has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester, and an MA in Creative Writing for Personal Development from the University of Sussex. In 2022-23 she was a Creative Manchester knowledge exchange fellow, researching Creative Writing for Wellbeing. As an undergraduate she attended Smith College, in Massachusetts. Rebecca is a founder member of the Voicings Collective: an Arts Council England funded ensemble creating exploratory choral theatre. She teaches creative writing in museums, schools, universities, libraries, and the wider community.

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Voicings Collective, Rough for Opera, October 2017

Opera Making

In 2014-15, Rebecca was a visiting student on the MA in Opera Making at the Guildhall, working with the composer Oliver Christophe Leith. Their chamber opera, Isabella, premiered on 8 July 2015, with subsequent performances at the Royal Opera House (London) and the Liszt Academy (Budapest).

Other staged works include Tatort: Märchenland (2015), a fairy-tale detective story co-written with Stephen Plaice for the Munich Radio Orchestra, and Robin Hood: an Opera in Three Courses (London, 2019), co-written with Zoe Palmer and the composer Dani Howard.

Voicings' digital docu-opera, Walk Out of Yourself, created during the global coronavirus pandemic, was streamed on in August 2020.
The Gardener, a song cycle written with composer Lucy Armstrong for the Salford Choral Society, premiered in April 2022. The Alchemical Kitchen, also written with Lucy Armstrong and commissioned by the Cambridge Philharmonic, premiered on 18 March 2023.

Other recent new work includes Voices of the Sands (4 July 2022), commissioned by the Deal Festival of Music and Arts and written with composer Michael Betteridge, with further performances in Grimsby, London (as part of the Tête à Tête festival) and Manchester; and Stay as Long as You Like, a choral work about friendship, also written with Michael Betteridge for the Greater Manchester-based choirs The Sunday Boys and Meraki (11 September 2022). Voices of the Sands will also be touring in the summer/autumn 2024.

Looking West, a new concert-theatre work written with composer Julian Philips to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, premiered at Yorkshire's Ryedale Festival on 30 July 2022, with additional performances at the Presteigne Festival in Wales, and in London's Milton Court theatre.

The chamber opera, Music and the Brain, inspired by the writing of the neurologist Olivers Sachs, premiered at the Demetz Academy Hall, Reykjavík, in October 2021. A short European tour in 2022 saw further performances at the Nordic Song Festival, Sweden, and London's Tête à Tête opera festival, as well as at the Tung Auditorium in Liverpool.

Workshops, Residencies & Fellowships

As a workshop facilitator Rebecca has taught adults and young people, working in partnership with schools, museums and universities, as well as within the wider community. She lectures and leads workshops on writing, poetry, fairy tales and folklore, place writing, and creative collaboration. Rebecca has taught poetry workshops at the University of Manchester and was external examiner on the Guildhall College of Music and Drama's MA in Opera Making from 2018-2021. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at the John Rylands Library, Manchester Museum, and Bexhill Museum.
From 2022-23 Rebecca was a Creative Manchester post-doctoral fellow researching creative writing for wellbeing at the University of Manchester, and in partnership with Lime Arts Trust. She continues to run creative writing for wellbeing workshops for University staff, and for NHS staff and patients.

Contact Rebecca

07729 628427

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