Northern Heartlands Community Opera May 2020 at Locomotion Shildon

Over the weekends of 19th and 20th January and 2nd and 3rd February, the Creative Team from Opera North with Northern Heartlands ran 8 workshops across different venues in our area starting in Barnard Castle on a sunny Saturday and ending in St John’s Chapel on a snowy Sunday.

We were joined in the 8 workshops by enthusiastic and curious community members from all backgrounds and ages; no one knew what to expect from the workshops but at the end of each one, everybody was buzzing with excitment and creative energy.  We uncovered some fine singers, poetic souls, heart-warming and gut wrenching stories and some beautiful objects all of which highlighted how special our part of County Durham is.

It will take over a year to make this opera.  The final performances will be in the main exhibition building (among the trains!) at Locomotion, in Shildon, County Durham on 29th and 30th May 2020.

The opera will tell the story of County Durham, of its coal and lead-mining, its industrial heritage, its farming and fabulous scenery, of early Christians and ancient pilgrims and of railways.  Above all it will be a story about the people who live here.  It will be your story.

There will be lots of ways to take part – not just on stage but behind the scenes too.  Sign up to keep in touch  and look out on social media on @NHeartlands for updates.

The Creative Team behind the opera is made up of Will Todd, Composer, Emma Jenkins, Librettist and Caroline Clegg, Artistic Director.  We’d also like to thank Tony Walsh for “panning for gold” at the creative workshops.