Thirty of the talented young singers who make up our Opera North Youth Chorus are heading to Scandinavia to take part in Denmark’s first GrowOP! opera festival for children, teenagers and young adults.
The 14 to 21-year-olds will be in the country for four days from 9 November. They will spend the first two working with Danish National Opera’s TalentU to create an innovative work called ‘New Beginnings’, which will include choruses from operas and musicals alongside a selection of new pieces which the young people will compose under the guidance of Michael Betteridge, a Manchester-based composer, conductor and animateur, and Nick Shaw, Opera North Youth Chorus Master. As part of the composition, the young people will be invited to share their individual responses to the title ‘New Beginnings’ for inclusion in the final work.
Opera North Youth Chorus will open the festival on the Saturday and will perform several times over the course of the weekend, including two performances in Aarhus, the 2017 European City of Culture - a particularly fitting location as the ONYC's home city of Leeds launches its bid for the title in 2023.
I've always loved music and joining ONYC has helped me to experience wonderful opportunities and incredible coaching whilst sharing my passion with lots of talented young people.
— ONYC Member
GrowOP! is the only opera festival in Denmark entirely dedicated to the encounter between opera and children. By inviting performers from overseas to take part, it aims to create work in new ways, encouraging young people to work together and to enjoy musical performance both as participants and audience members. The hope is that the festival will be repeated on a biennial basis which will enable the Youth Chorus to forge a long-term relationship with the youth choirs in Denmark and lead to more opportunities for the group to travel overseas and perform with other young singers.
Photo credit: Justin Slee