After all the controversy the Opera North community project “Beached” is finally coming together. Participants aged from 4 to 73 talk about their experience so far:
Reception, Bay Primary School
Pippa, age 5 (Barnacle) ‘its excellent, really really exciting.'
Destiny, age 5 (Jellyfish) ‘I enjoy it when we stand up on the stage.'
Bailey, age 5 (Fish) ‘I feel like a rock star.'
Reception teachers, Bay Primary School – ‘…it's just a new experience for them and experiencing the theatre first hand. It's given the children the confidence to be on stage and sing even if they are shy in the classroom…it's given them the chance to shine!'
Year 2, Bay Primary School
Joshua, age 7 – ‘I think it's fabulous and I'm really enjoying it.'
Bart, age 7 – ‘I enjoy acting like a seagull.'
Year 2 teacher, Bay Primary School – ‘The overall Opera North experience has been fantastic. We've been involved with them for several years now and the main thing that has come out of it is a lot of the children are now confident to get up and perform and sing and I really feel that without Opera North's encouragement and direction those skills wouldn't have developed.'
Melanie, age 14, ‘It makes you loads more confident than you actually are, it makes you feel good and you meet people and make friends with people you wouldn't normally talk to.'
Kara, age 14, ‘The best thing about Opera North being here is I never knew anyone here so I've met loads of new friends and its nice to have the experience because you've only got a once in a lifetime chance to do something good for yourself.'
‘Grandparents, Vikings, Joggers'
Peter, age 68 – ‘The experience is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It's a one off, I've never done anything like it before and as I say it will stay with me for a long time.'
Ken, age 73 – ‘The music is great, the people are fantastic, Harvey especially is always here all the time and I've never missed a rehearsal either.'
Sue, age 67 – ‘The bit I really love is doing something I've never done before…and one of the nicest things is meeting people of different ages, the youngsters, the children, all the Opera North people who are young enough to be our children anyway and its been a great community thing…Its been brilliant.'
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.