Now here’s an offer you don’t get every day. How would you like to sing in an Opera North choir?

From Couch to Chorus is a new initiative set up by Opera North to get people involved in singing in a programme of choruses from three operas; The Bartered Bride by Smetana, The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Verdi’s Nabucco and Bizet’s Carmen, by Bizet, as Eric Morecambe would say.

Don’t worry if you have no experience or are unable to read music as there will be a Professional Choral Director to teach you. None of that Gareth Malone malarky here, they have gone straight to the top. If you are a regular singer then you will, of course, be welcome too. 

Obviously everything will be done virtually via Zoom and will consist of four one-hour sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays from 20th July to 11th August. The participants will be split into four voice ranges; soprano, alto, tenor and bass in order to learn their parts and the whole thing will come together in an on-line performance on Wednesday, 12th August. Don’t worry if you don’t know which voice type you fit into as there will be someone on hand to guide you.

The idea has come from the Sing ON scheme which are weekly face-to-face singing sessions but have had to be held on-line since the current restrictions were put in place. There is a charge for participants but it is on a pay-as-you-feel basis so no pressure. Along with Opera North’s wider education programme it is being sponsored by the Emerald Foundation.

Several years ago I was asked by an organisation for which I volunteered, to sample a short residential course at a learning centre in the Cotswolds as we were thinking of linking up with them. I chose one called The Paul Simon Songbook which split us into groups to learn our parts and then we put on a performance for the people studying other pastimes. I must say that I was quite overcome at the end, it was a feeling I will never forget, so, if you like singing, I would urge you to get in touch with Opera North at where there are more details as well as a link to sign up.

OK, that is Couch to Chorus sorted, now it’s time for Bed to Boozer.

Photograph provided by Opera North

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