Homeless perform new opera in art gallery

First published in News

AN opera performed by homeless people will take place at an art gallery next month.

Streetwise Opera, which works with people who have experienced homelessness, has been rehearsing in mima, Middlesbrough, every week for several months as part of a new partnership.

Next month members of mima staff will join the group to perform the Teesside premiere of a newly-commissioned work, Songs Paint Worlds, by Streetwise's composer in residence Stef Conner.

Streetwise uses music and performance to help homeless people through its weekly programme of opera workshops.

The workshops have been taking place at mima since April and are focusing on Britten's opera Midsummer Night's Dream. They will perform extracts from the opera at the free event on July 18.

Matt Peacock, founder and CEO of Streetwise Opera, said: "We are thrilled to be running a regular workshop programme at mima. The staff have been so welcoming and we look forward to a long partnership. Both organisations are committed to providing the highest quality artistic experiences for the widest cross section of people in Teesside."

Claire Pounder, education manager at mima, said: "Our visitors and staff alike are enjoying hearing the uplifting workshops, and our staff are looking forward to getting more involved with the singing."

The new work, along with extracts from Midsummer Night's Dream, will be performed in the mima cafe on Friday, July 18. Streetwise Opera will also be taking over the Big Screen in Centre Square to show a short documentary and sections of their last two film operas, The Answer to Everything and Fables – A Film Opera.

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