Thirty of our young singers collaborated with Danish National Opera’s TalentU to create an innovative work called ‘New Beginnings’. The piece included choruses from operas and musicals alongside a selection of new pieces which the young people, aged 14 to 19, composed under the guidance of Michael Betteridge, a Manchester-based composer.
After devising the staging for ‘New Beginnings’ and fine tuning the songs under the baton of Opera North Chorus Master, Nick Shaw, the group opened the GrowOp! Festival with two performances at Dokk1, the public library and culture centre in Aarhus.
The next day, the Opera North Youth Chorus headed to Herning for another couple of acclaimed performances before travelling back to Leeds.
We asked Lydia, one of the ONYC members who took part of the trip, what she made of the experience:
"I think the best thing about the entire trip was the fact that it was an incredible and unique opportunity for me to be involved in as I've never taken part in anything like this before. I was able to bond with so many people in the chorus and really enjoyed collaborating and working with TalentU. Above all else, the aspect that I liked most about the trip was that we were able to perform to younger audiences and expose them to opera and share our passion for it, which I strongly believe is vital if we are to keep this wonderful art in existence in the future."
Lydia also commented about the performances and the amazing venues in and around Aarhus:
“I was very impressed with the libraries and the amount of dedication put into them - I wasn't expecting them to be as large and busy as they were, and loved the fact that people passing by were engaged and interested in watching us perform. I felt that the performances went really well given that we only rehearsed completely together as a group for 2 days before the performances and I hope the audiences liked it as much as we did performing it.”
The ONYC already have a busy schedule planned for 2018 and it is hoped the young Danes will be able to make a return visit at some point.
Photo credit: Opera North