Opera North new online activities

Published: 8 February 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber

Opera North's Little School of Music Credit: Tom Arber

Opera North has launched Opera North’s Little School of Music, Orchestral Academy Online, ONe-to-ONe virtual solo performances and Virtual Choirs: From Couch to Chorus.

Opera North’s Little School of Music, aimed at primary aged children, takes youngsters through a range of activities including games, quizzes and music-making using parts of the body or items lying around the house. While the videos do include a learning element, the emphasis is on enjoying a break from traditional lessons, with families being encouraged to share their creations on social media afterwards. The resources will also be offered to schools free of charge.

Orchestral Academy Online provides free masterclasses and workshops led by members of the Orchestra of Opera North, each devised especially for musicians aged 10 to 18 studying an orchestral instrument at Grade 4 or above. The workshops will be held during February half term and will focus on a particular instrument or on an orchestral section, such as woodwind, brass and percussion.

Inspired by the Song Surgeries which soprano Bibi Heal has been running online, ONe-to-ONe is designed to bring performances directly into people’s living rooms. Starting in mid-February, there will be a chance for community groups, care homes and anyone in need of some lockdown positivity to have a song or instrumental piece performed for them live on Zoom by a member of the Chorus or Orchestra of Opera North.

In From Couch to Chorus: Sing into Spring, participants will learn operatic repertoire from Mozart, Verdi and Dvořák, culminating in a session when the whole virtual chorus will come together online. Everyone is welcome, whether they are already a member of a choir or have barely sung a note before.

A special series of free fortnightly online singing workshops is also being held for people living with persistent pain, Step Into Singing, developed in collaboration both with those with chronic pain and specialists in the field.