In Harmony Opera North is a Community Residency programme taking place at six schools in south Leeds and engaging over 1800 children in full-time education. As the only In Harmony project that is delivered by an opera company, it focusses on singing, instrument playing and other elements that make up the operatic artform.
In Harmony Opera North delivers an inclusive programme of high quality music education and performance opportunities to encourage young people from all backgrounds to engage with the arts and benefit from a range of wider outcomes.
The programme aims to raise aspirations, increase expectations, and use group music-making as a way of developing communication skills (namely listening, teamwork and respect), confidence and self-worth, creative problem solving, adaptability and perseverance.
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Since Spring 2013, In Harmony Opera North has centred around the children and community of Windmill Primary School in Belle Isle, south Leeds. In September 2015 Low Road Primary School in Hunslet was absorbed into the programme and in the summer of 2017, 5 pupils from Low Road Primary School performed as part of the children’s chorus in Opera North’s widely acclaimed Turandot. The In Harmony programme was also extended to New Bewerley Community School, Beeston, in September 2016, with Richmond Hill Academy in Cross Green becoming the fourth In Harmony school in September 2018.
In 2019, In Harmony Opera North started running after school sessions at The Ruth Gorse Academy to ensure pupils’ musical talents continue to be nurtured when they transition to secondary school. 2019 also saw the start of a two-year collaboration with The Stephen Longfellow Academy which works with students who are struggling to maintain a full-time place in mainstream education.