University of Leeds student Ruby Fatimilehin shares her experience as the 2019/20 DARE Intern.

Before my placement at Opera North, I was admittedly quite uneducated about the world of opera. Over the past six months this has changed drastically. My time as Publications Intern has been a truly enlightening experience as I have learnt about everything from technical practice and production to marketing and costume. The amount of preparation and care that goes into every production is inspiring and having the opportunity to contribute to this has been a privilege.

I have enjoyed working with Editor Stuart Leeks to produce programmes, assisting him with the selection of images and sourcing information to constitute artist’s biographies. My confidence in editing, proof-reading and formatting has greatly increased during my time as Publications Intern and I am in awe at the variety of specialities and skills present in the company. Speaking to and working with the members of multiple departments at Opera North has been an illuminating experience. I particularly enjoyed assisting the Education Team with their Community Partnerships, helping to set up a taster operatic performance for local primary school children.

A highlight of my placement was writing an article on The Turn of the Screw for the Opera North website. Having previously studied the novella, I was able to combine my literary and operatic knowledge to create a piece on the differences between the two versions of the story. I found watching the rehearsals of The Turn of the Screw fascinating as I was able to see a familiar text transformed into an animated, eerie production. Watching the finished production in Leeds Grand Theatre was an incredible experience, not only due to the stunning building itself but also because of the opportunity to witness the culmination of the company’s hard work and dedication.

Another production I particularly enjoyed was Street Scene. The intensity and vast number of characters ensured that the production left a lasting impression and transformed my preconceived conception of what constitutes an opera. I enjoyed contributing to the interviewing of Conductor James Holmes and Director Matthew Eberhardt which allowed me to gain a greater insight into the ideas behind Street Scene whilst simultaneously improving my ability to transcribe interviews. When I first started working at Opera North I had never been to an opera before, now I can’t wait for the next season to start!

Ruby Fatimilehin, DARE Intern 2019/20, 2nd year English Literature student, University of Leeds

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