We’ve just found out about Streetwise Opera here at the Two Moors Festival and can’t imagine a better use for classical music. The award-winning charity runs a weekly music programme across 11 homeless centres in England and Wales that helps 500 homeless people every year take the next step forward in their lives.
The group reports that by becoming involved with Streetwise Opera homeless people can improve their self-confidence and change their beliefs in what they’re capable of. By taking on small challenges such as singing a solo, taking on opera or just coming to a session they prove to themselves that they are able to take on bigger challenges, such as living independently and taking part in Streetwise Opera’s Work Placement Scheme.
Its 2011-2012 programme resulted in one in ten regular attenders securing jobs, one in ten engaging in independent volunteering or training and one in five accessing other community arts activities.
There’s lots going on around the country that you can join in with, like The Answer to Everything tour, a brand-new production that will be in Tyneside Cinema on June 19th and in Broadway Cinema in Nottingham on the 25th.
The show is a 70-minute interactive film and live opera event that’s set in a conference run by fictional property developer Locateco Solutions. A cast of homeless and former homeless people join together with professionals including world-famous soprano Elizabeth Watts. There’s plenty of opportunity for audience participation (which we really like the sound of!) and you’re asked to dress in your finest business wear and collect your conference pack at the front desk.
Here’s the trailer:
- The Answer to Everything, Streetwise Opera, British Film Institute, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- On stage and on screen: making our opera The Answer to Everything (guardian.co.uk)
- Young Opera Venture (2mfblog.wordpress.com)