Launched in 2016 the Opera North Orchestra Camp and Opera Challenge connect young people from across the city region with Opera North musicians and singers at a week-long event on the University campus based at the School of Music.
During four days of workshops followed by a public performance on the fifth day, Opera North singers and musicians coach and perform alongside 8-16 year-olds from diverse backgrounds across the Leeds and wider area.
“In 2017 I helped Opera North deliver the first Opera Challenge, which took place at the University of Leeds. Forty children created and performed their own opera. I worked with and learned a lot from Lucy in the Opera North Education Department as we brought our vision to life – working with a drama director and vocal delivery artist and engaging the Opera North Chorus. For most of the children it was the first time they had seen a university and it was great that they could meet the students from the School of Music – it helped them realise they might go to university themselves one day.” Adam Thompson, Pettman DARE Fellow: Music Education, 2016/17.
Students from the School of Music engage with the Camps as researchers and for experience in working with young people and event management.
“Teams of student researchers have found working with university staff and Opera North Education to be an invaluable experience and such activities help us to underpin our teaching with an emphasis on the real-world applications of research.” Dr Karen Burland-Clark, Head of the School of Music, University of Leeds