As an operatic voice radiates from the toilets into the office, it’s hard not to smile and think to myself where else would that happen? I am half way through my student placement in the Opera North press office and I have been converted from opera virgin to opera addict. When I received the news that I had got the placement at Opera North I was excited but apprehensive. I am a fan of musicals and studied theatre studies at college but opera was something I had never experienced before, other than images of oversized singers belting out songs in Italian, I had no idea. After a whirlwind first few months, with an opera about cosmetic surgery, a world premiere, the opening of a new venue, meet and greets, first nights and a Royal visit, I soon began to realise that Opera North was much more than that.
The best thing about working just yards away from the theatre, above the rehearsal studios and in with the costume department is that you can see how all the pieces fit together to make the productions. From going to a model show - where everyone from the cast, stage management and admin gather to hear the director explain the story, show a mini version of the set and present the costume designs, to meeting the cast over sandwiches to looking out of the office window and seeing a rising lorry full of scenery being lifted backstage.
Seeing all the different elements of the Company coming together has been a real eye opener for me, as an audience member you don’t realise how much goes into a performance, from the director and conductor to marketing and PR to costume and set design.
As a placement student I have been involved in everything and gained invaluable experience and not once spent a day at the photocopier or made tea and coffee. I can now say I love opera and I am proud and I will be bringing all my students friends along.
Julia Lumley Press & PR Assistant