Launched in 2016, the Opera North Orchestra Camp and Opera Challenge connected young people from across the city region with Opera North musicians and singers at a week-long event at the University of Leeds’ School of Music. 

Opera North singers and musicians coached and performed alongside 8-16 year-olds from diverse backgrounds across Leeds and the wider area in workshops over four days, followed by a public performance.

“In 2017 I helped Opera North deliver the first Opera Challenge, which took place at the University of Leeds. Forty children created and performed their own opera.  I worked with and learned a lot from Lucy in the Opera North Education Department as we brought our vision to life – working with a drama director and vocal delivery artist and engaging the Opera North Chorus.  For most of the children it was the first time they had seen a university and it was great that they could meet the students from the School of Music – it helped them realise they might go to university themselves one day.”
Adam Thompson, 2016/17 Pettman DARE Fellow    

Students from the School of Music engaged with the Camps as researchers and for experience in working with young people and event management.

“Teams of student researchers have found working with university staff and Opera North Education to be an invaluable experience and such activities help us to underpin our teaching with an emphasis on the real-world applications of research.”
Dr Karen Burland-Clark, former Head of the School of Music at the University of Leeds (2016-21)


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