DARE Internship 2022/23 Reflection

‘I’m Eben and have been interning with Opera North’s Community Partnerships department. During my time with Opera North, I have had many great opportunities to do a wide variety of things. I am very grateful to Opera North for tailoring the internship to suit my skillset and interests as best as possible.  

The best example of this was the spoken word workshops that I co-led for refugees and people seeking asylum. Teaming up with an artist with lived experience, we went out into five different community groups around Leeds to deliver these workshops before hosting a final one in the Bramall Studio. These all went amazingly well, and it was great to see the enthusiasm and expression from the participants. As a result, we had several poets from these sessions join us to perform at Opera North’s refugee week event in the Howard Assembly Room. It was brilliant to see how effective these workshops were and I’m very thankful that Opera North prompted and supported me to run them as spoken word is a passion of mine. I hope to continue facilitating spoken word workshops for communities in and around Leeds.  

Picture shows Eben Roddis smiling at the camera.

During my time with Opera North I have also been able to engage with the wider arts community in Leeds through the Arts Together network. I have attended several meetings and workshops, such as refugee awareness training, with them. These meetings have been interesting to get an insight into many of the fantastic arts organisations around Leeds as well as how they coordinate with each other. Not only has the trainings been useful but having such a diverse range of organisations in the same room seems to have led to some exciting collaborations. For example, at the last meeting I was discussing the spoken word workshops with a representative from Fall Into Place Theatre. They also had an associated spoken word artist who had funding for a similar project. As a result, we have been able to work together to ensure that our poets are aware of their new workshops so that they can be a part of these too. This shows how the Arts Together network really benefits everyone involved.  

Overall, I have found my time with Opera North to be a great and rewarding experience. It has given me insights into arts organisations as well as community work. I have particularly enjoyed being with the Community Partnerships department as they have been great at integrating me into the team and I think the work they do is hugely important within a wide range of communities around Leeds.’ – Eben Roddis, Mathematics/Philosophy student.

Eben has produced some amazing work during his internship and we wish him all the best for the future.


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