Young singers will be the first to benefit from Opera North’s £18m redevelopment project in Leeds this summer as the Company prepares to open its new Education Studio in the heart of the city. The activities in the Howard Opera Centre will form part of a range of inspiring opportunities available for hundreds of young people over the coming months, including the launch of the Opera North Youth Orchestra for those aspiring to become professional musicians.

As the Opera North Education team prepares to move into its new home, more children from the age of 8 to 19 years are to be given the opportunity to join the Opera North Youth Company. No prior knowledge of opera is required to join, simply a love of telling stories through music, a desire to develop skills in singing and stagecraft, and a passion for performance. Young singers can register their interest online now, with auditions to be held in the summer.

Young instrumentalists are also being offered a range of exciting opportunities to help further their musical education. These include, for school age orchestral players, a Woodwind and Horn Academy from 1-2 June and a Brass Academy from 3-4 June. Both are being held at Yeadon Town Hall in Leeds and will include the chance to learn from, and play with, members of the Orchestra of Opera North and Opera North education specialists.

Young string players will be able to enjoy an immersive 4-day Strings Academy in the Howard Opera Centre from 16-19 August while, for talented young musicians playing at grade 7 and above, the Opera North Summer Orchestra Academy will run from 23-28 August. Non-residential this year, entry will be by audition only, ensuring that the event can be tailored to the needs of the participants with everyone appropriately challenged in an inspirational and supportive environment.

New this autumn is the Opera North Youth Orchestra which aims to help 16 to 21-year-old orchestral players transition from further education and regional youth orchestras into the professional world of music. Successful applicants will get the chance to be mentored by members of the Orchestra of Opera North and to work regularly in the Howard Opera Centre with professional conductors and soloists.

For 8- to 11-year-olds with a more general interest in theatre, the Opera North Creative Camp returns during the summer holidays at Herd Farm on the outskirts of Leeds. Over  five days, the children will explore all aspects of putting an opera on the stage, including script writing, acting, composition, set and costume design, and stagecraft.

All activities will be designed specifically for COVID-safe learning according to the latest government advice and to keep participants and staff safe throughout. Bookings and expressions of interest can be made online. Financial support is available for anyone who finds cost a barrier to participation.



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