Composer Will Todd, Director Caroline Clegg, Libretto Emma Jenkins. Ideas and creative input from the communities of South West Durham and poet Tony Walsh. Featuring the chorus and orchestra of Opera North and community participants.
“We’ve Only Gone and Done It” – a slightly paraphrased line from our community opera but one which sums up our achievement over the Summer of 2020!
‘Song of Our Heartland’ was intended to be performed in front of a live audience over two nights in May 2020. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, the project was transferred to a filmed, online version, with rehearsals taking place virtually throughout the summer. The opera was filmed over two days in September 2020 at Locomotion, the railway museum in Shildon with a pre-recorded score.
See the one-hour film of the opera “Song of Our Heartland”.
“Every community opera is unique, but this one is exceptional”. (Caroline Clegg, Director)
“’Song of Our Heartland’ is truly from the community: that, I believe, is what makes the end result so strong and authentic” (Will Todd, Composer)
“this is one of the largest community projects in which Opera North has ever been involved…a testament to the creative potential that can be released when a large-scale arts company…works together in a truly collaborative spirit with an entire community”. (Richard Mantle, OBE, General Director, Opera North)
Comments from Community Participants:
“Throughout, the Northern Heartlands team has nurtured, encouraged and helped us to go way beyond our comfort zones and has kept us going”
“It has been such a brilliant project to have been part of”
“Thanks to the choir… had a positive in my life again”
In addition to the opera, the Heartlands Songbook features three of the short songs created in original workshops with our communities, when ideas were first explored for the creation of our opera.
Composer: Will Todd.
Music Production and composition: Will Todd
Arrangements by Andy Yeadon, Saul Rose and Brendan Murphy.
Directed and produced by Austen Atkinson (Lexicon)