Following a series of workshops with professional singers from Opera North, a cast of over 100 local performers will take to the stage in Batley’s beautiful Methodist Church on Tuesday 22 March for the inaugural Batley Does Opera event.
The evening of music, song and dance has been inspired by Donizetti’s light-hearted opera L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love), Batley residents will perform excerpts from the opera alongside their own original songs composed during the workshop sessions.This will be followed a condensed 'Whistle Stop' version of The Elixir of Love performed by artists from Opera North.
Batley Does Opera is an innovative partnership between Creative Scene, Opera North and Batley Business Association. It was initiated by Batley-based lawyer Andrew Marsden, who is one of Creative Scene’s ‘SceneMakers’ – local volunteers who work with the organisation to develop ideas for arts projects to benefit the wider community.
Since its launch, the intiative has already attracted the involvement of local schools and community groups from across Batley including Sarah Taylor School of Dance, Acorn Productions, Batley Community Choir, Carlinghow Princess Royal J, I & N School and Batley Parish Junior School. Participants range in age from 9 to 75 years.
As well as attending singing and drama workshops with Opera North, those taking part were given the chance to attend the Company’s recent production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at the Grand Theatre in Leeds, with children from the participating schools enjoying the special schools’ matinee performance at the end of February.
Building on the incredible enthusiasm which has already been shown for the project, Batley Does Opera is now planning a larger scale community opera to be performed in Batley in 2017.
Batley Does Opera takes place at Batley Central Methodist Church, Commercial Street, Batley, from 7.30pm on Tuesday 22 March. Tickets are priced at £5 each (family ticket £15) and are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/creativescene
Batley Does Opera. Photo credit: Christian Cassiel
Opera North's workshop with Acorn Productions. Photo credit: Len Grant