A group of talented young singers from Yorkshire are heading to Scandinavia next month, as 30 members of the Opera North Youth Chorus take part in Denmark’s first GrowOP! opera festival for children and teenagers.

The 14 to 21-year-olds will be in the country for four days from 9 November. They will spend the first two working with Danish National Opera’s TalentU to create an innovative work called ‘New Beginnings’, which will include choruses from operas and musicals alongside a selection of new pieces which the young people will compose under the guidance of Michael Betteridge, a Manchester-based composer, conductor and animateur, and Nick Shaw, Opera North Youth Chorus Master. As part of the composition, the young people will be invited to share their individual responses to the title ‘New Beginnings’ for inclusion in the final work.

The result will open the festival on the Saturday and will be performed several times over the course of the weekend, including two performances in the public library in Aarhus, the 2017 European City of Culture.

 “The hope is that the festival will be repeated on a biennial basis which will enable our Youth Chorus to forge a long-term relationship with young singers in Denmark.”

GrowOP! is the only opera festival in Denmark entirely dedicated to the encounter between opera and young people. By inviting performers from overseas to take part, it aims to create work in new ways in unexpected places, encouraging young people to work together and to enjoy musical performance both as participants and audience members.

Opera North’s education programme is supported by the Opera North Future Fund and Whitaker Charitable Trust. Opera North Youth Chorus is supported by The Holbeck Charitable Trust and The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.

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