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Resonance residencies

Resonance is Opera North’s workshop programme for music creators of colour, working in any genre, and based in the north of England. Launched in 2017, it is part of PRS Foundation’s Talent Development Partner Network supported by PPL.

It’s a unique opportunity to develop new ideas, to collaborate with performers from other disciplines, and to take your work in new directions.

You might be interested in testing an exciting possibility, exploring a great musical idea, in telling a story through music, in collaborating with a filmmaker or visual artist, or something else altogether.

The residency could be your first step towards making the project, or part of a longer process that you are working on.

Resonance 2023: Marco Woolf

“When I think about my experience of being part of Resonance, terms such as ‘life-changing’ or ‘life-affirming’ are what come to mind”, says singer-songwriter and storyteller Marco Woolf. “Which all sounds very dramatic, but that’s honestly how it feels”. In his spring 2023 residency, Marco and his collaborators worked on a new project pairing improvised dance with his narratives and music.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to dedicate that much time to just focusing on my art, exploring my ideas in an in-depth and playful way, with access to resources and not having to worry about money or other work.

Marco Woolf's Resonance sharing at Opera North, March 2023 © Opera North

“This really was a pivotal experience for me. Beyond the resources, the time and the money, one of the major reasons why this scheme was so impactful was the genuine care that Opera North had for the work we were doing. They were not just interested in my career development, they also went as far as they could to support and enable the development of my creative ideas.

“That’s a really powerful thing for an artist like me to experience. When we look at prestigious organisations from the outside it often feels impossible to imagine yourself stepping into these buildings or accessing certain platforms as a creative, but Opera North made this relationship feel so easy and it has done wonders for my confidence.

“Having the backing of such an influential institution chips away at the imposter syndrome and negative self-talk that can be so overwhelming as an artist. On top of that it truly feels that my relationship with Opera North will continue beyond this scheme which is something that doesn’t happen very often with projects like this”.

The Lockdown Edition: Balraj Samrai

“Resonance gave me a unique opportunity to launch a fresh project, which involved collaborating with a wide range of musicians and artists to produce a commentary on the COVID-19 situation as it unfolded. Opera North supported the work from inception to press rollout, working alongside me to help our track and its accompanying film achieve its full potential. “This project really got me started in the direction of combining multi-format collaboration and social commentary, and my new album Work and Roti has built on that process of bringing ideas and communities together in music hopefully to move minds and bodies!”

— Balraj Samrai, lead artist, Resonance: The Lockdown Edition

Resonance 2019: Nishla Smith

“Resonance provided an ideal framework for me to explore a new direction in my music-making. The programme combined extensive support and resources with the freedom to push myself and explore new ideas. I created a major new piece of work, and formed strong collaborative relationships with associate artists that I might not have had the confidence to develop otherwise.”

— Nishla Smith, lead artist, Resonance 2019

Watch our series of short films on Resonance workshops.

Listen to Resonance podcasts on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow #ONResonance on social media.

PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner supported by PPL



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