A COMMUNITY SONG WRITING PROJECT
Opera North has launched Writing Home, a community song writing project which will help create an innovative arts installation as part of the Howard Opera Centre, the Company’s redeveloped home in Leeds due to open later this year.
The Howard Opera Centre has been designed as a creative space for the whole community to use, and we aim to embody that purpose in the fabric of the building by creating an interactive musical trail on the theme of home. Contributions will be recorded by schools, community groups, the Opera North Youth Company and members of the public, with visitors able to listen to the resulting performances as they walk around the building.
As part of the project, a six-week course of free Writing Home workshops will be held online at 6.30pm from Monday 22 February. Led by professional musicians Thandanani Gumede and Dave Evans, participants will be asked to explore what ‘home’ means to them through a variety of musical genres before creating their own compositions. A selection of these will be featured as part of the final trail. Everyone is welcome to join. No previous musical experience is necessary, just the willingness to try something new.
Despite the setbacks posed by the pandemic, Opera North has continued with its £18m redevelopment project on New Briggate in its home city of Leeds, albeit it with new Covid-19 safety measures in place. As well as providing new rehearsal facilities for the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North, a costume and wigs workshop, and administrative offices, the Howard Opera Centre will include several communal areas open to the public. These include a new, flexible Education Centre which will enable audiences of all ages and backgrounds to come together to learn about, and participate in, music making. Anyone accessing the Education Centre will use the same entrance as the artists and staff in a bid to inspire the younger generation and to encourage a feeling of parity and belonging.
Other public spaces will include a fully accessible atrium and a new restaurant and bar which will replace a row of previously vacant shop units. The Company’s eclectic performance venue, the Howard Assembly Room, is also due to reopen with an enhanced programme of musical and spoken word events. The work is being delivered by Sheffield-based contractors Henry Boot Construction with the first phase due to open in the late spring, with final completion in the autumn.
For further details visit operanorth.co.uk