Opera North has entered 2021 more determined than ever to keep people entertained - despite the global pandemic.
The company’s latest online attractions include programmes to keep children engaged with music in the home, and initiatives to help adults raise their spirits and encourage connection – including the hugely successful singing workshops From Couch to Chorus, which returns for a third time.
Available now for the young is Opera North’s Little School of Music, which offers a series of free interactive videos designed to encourage families and primary-age to explore the world of music together. The programme takes youngsters through a range of activities with games, quizzes and music-making, combining fun and tuition.
There is also the ON Orchestral Academy Online (from Feb 15), for young people aged 10-18. The pandemic has led to the suspension of many youth orchestras and ensembles with an impact both on musical development and social interaction. The academy will encourage the young to keep playing, in the company of fellow young musicians. The academy will provide free masterclasses and workshops, led by members of the Orchestra of Opera North. Each class has been devised for young musicians aged 10-18 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. Find out more and sign up here,
ONe-to-ONe (from mid-February) has been inspired by Opera North’s online song surgeries with soprano Bibi Heal, which have been running online for some time, and is designed to bring the thrill of performance into people’s living rooms.
Community groups, care homes and anyone in need of a lockdown lift will be able to have a song or instrumental piece performed for them live on Zoom by a member of the chorus or orchestra of Opera North. The free sessions will need to be booked in advance via the Opera North website, here.
Opera North’s From Couch to Chorus returns (Feb 24) with Sing into Spring. Book here.
The Christmas edition of the online choir saw 2000 people from across the world take part in seasonal songs, and February sees the return of the company’s pay-what-you-feel tuition.
Over four weeks a professional choral director and members of the Opera North chorus will teach participants uplifting operatic repertoire from Mozart, Verdi and Dvorak, culminating in a session featuring the whole virtual chorus online.
This time round there will be evening sessions, giving singers more choice of convenient times. Daytime sessions will all be live-captioned and resources will also be available in large print and Braille.
There is also a special series of free fortnightly online singing workshops for people living with persistent pain. Step Into Singing (until Apl 20) has been developed to support wellbeing and help sufferers live well despite pain, using breathing and other techniques, vocal exercises and singing. Find out more here.