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Opera North reaches out to new audiences in Hull


Throughout August we'll be swapping the orchestra pit for some rather more unusual locations in East Yorkshire to bring the power of live performance to new audiences.

Hull’s spectacular aquarium The Deep, will host a series of Opera North Early Years and Family Music Sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Designed to encourage pre-school children and their parents to sing and make music in a friendly, informal environment, all of the activities will have a maritime theme and will feature many of the sea creatures which The Deep is working to conserve. The 45-minute sessions will be held in the Education Centre and cost £5 per child. Spaces are limited so early booking is advised.

On Saturday 27 August, Burton Constable Hall in Skirlaugh becomes the venue for Opera North’s Family Day of Music, when members of the Orchestra of Opera North will entertain visitors with ‘pop-up’ performances at various locations throughout the Elizabethan mansion and grounds. As people start to explore the house, they will be greeted by a pianist playing in the hall before encountering a harpist in the Drawing Room, a string quartet in the Dining Room, a wind ensemble in the Long Gallery and brass players on the lawn outside the house. 

For younger members of the family, the Stable Block will be the place to go. Singing sessions are planned in the Orangery or children can opt for percussion playing in the Carriage House. There will be a chance to enjoy interactive storytelling in the Riding School and to have a go at designing and creating a selection of props. The workshops have been inspired by Britten’s opera Billy Budd which Opera North is performing as part of its forthcoming Autumn Season, and will feature ships, sailors and life on the ocean waves. Visitors will need to pay Burton Constable Hall’s normal admission price, but all additional events are free of charge with people welcome to drop in at any time.

Jacqui Cameron, Opera North Education Director, said:

We’re delighted to have been given this opportunity to join forces with two of the region’s most distinctive and popular venues. By performing in unexpected places, we’re hoping to spark an interest in music, particularly among some of the younger participants, and show people just how much fun singing and playing music together can be. 

Hull has always been a special place for us, particularly since we launched our innovative Singing School community residency at Bude Park Primary School on the city’s Bransholme Estate. The project is now in its second year and is a great example of how music can enhance the lives and well-being of a whole community.

Opera North Education activities are supported by the Whitaker Charitable Trust, the Opera North Future Fund and the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation. William Jackson Food Group are the major donor for Opera North Singing School with additional support from Hull and East Riding Charitable Trust and the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.

Opera North Early Years session. Credit: Tom Arber
The Great Drawing Room, Burton Constable Hall. Credit: The Burton Constable Foundation

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