Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
4:20 AM 23rd July 2020

Two New Summer Camps Launch In Leeds For Young Creatives

Creative Arts Camp to engage children with music, drama and art
Summer Strings Academy to develop young string players in the region

2019 Opera North Orchestra camp - photo credit Justin Slee
2019 Opera North Orchestra camp - photo credit Justin Slee
As lockdown restrictions ease, Opera North has announced two new summer camps which will be held in Leeds next month.

From 17 to 21 August, a Creative Arts Camp will take place at Herd Farm Activity Centre in the north of the city. Open to all 8 to 11-year-olds with a passion for creativity, the week-long event will enable young people to explore the many fascinating elements that make up the world of theatre. Devised by professional artists who have taken Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel as their starting point, the fun and engaging sessions will be led by tutors from Opera North’s award-winning In Harmony programme and will cover directing, acting, set and costume design, script-writing, composition, choreography and dance. The participants will also get to watch a special socially-distanced Whistle Stop Opera version of Hansel and Gretel, performed by singers and musicians from Opera North.

The Summer Strings Academy will run the following week from 24 to 27 August at Leeds Town Hall. Designed especially for young musicians who already play a string instrument at Grade 4 or above, the immersive event will provide a valuable insight into rehearsing and performing as part of a professional ensemble. The young players will be tutored by, and play alongside, members of the Orchestra of Opera North with each participant challenged to develop their technical and musical ability in an inspirational and supportive environment.

ONCC perform The Spider's Revenge - photo credit Tom Arber
ONCC perform The Spider's Revenge - photo credit Tom Arber
Opportunities will be given to master exciting repertoire both as part of a large string ensemble and in smaller quartets and trios, with masterclasses in specific string techniques, composition and improvisation. Groups will be kept to a strict minimum to meet government guidelines, with the young people accompanied by the same orchestra members over the course of the four days.

Jacqui Cameron, Opera North Education Director, said:

“After the creative and social isolation encountered by many youngsters during lockdown, we were incredibly keen to give them the chance to meet and enjoy exploring creative activities together in a social setting this summer - opportunities which the lifting of restrictions has enabled us to provide through these camps.

“Our Education team and orchestra are really looking forward to working face-to-face with young people again and igniting their imaginations through all the activities we have planned.”

Both summer camps will be run according to current government guidelines to ensure both staff and participants are kept safe throughout. More details on the precautions being taken, fees and booking information can be found at Creative Arts Camp will run from 9.30am-3.30pm each day, with the Summer Strings Academy running from 10am-4.30pm. Drop-off and pick-up times will be allocated and agreed in advance

Opera North’s Education Programme is supported by The Emerald Foundation, The Liz & Terry Bramall Foundation, The Whitaker Charitable Trust and Opera North Future Fund.