Rhinegold Photo credit: Tristram Kenton
Opera North's chorus in Kiss Me Kate

Ashutosh Khandekar

Join the chorus – sing online with Opera North

1:44, 23rd June 2020


What’s it like to sing in an opera chorus? Find out by taking part in Opera North’s new digital choir, launching on Zoom in July. You don’t need any previous experience nor the ability to read music.

From Couch to Chorus, supported by the Emerald Foundation, will comprise four weekly sessions over Zoom. Participants will be taught operatic excerpts by a professional choral director together with members of the Chorus of Opera North. Each hour-long session will be specifically prepared for soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices. Opera North’s Lifelong Learning team will be on hand if you need help in determining your voice type.

By the end of the sessions, the choir will be able to sing choruses from Bizet’s Carmen and Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, as well as the rousing Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Verdi’s Nabucco. In the final workshop, singers from all vocal parts will join together online to perform a full virtual chorus. Open to all, the sessions will work on a ‘pay-as-you-feel’ basis.

The project has grown out of Opera North’s popular Sing ON face-to-face singing sessions which Opera North held in a variety of venues around Leeds prior to the current restrictions. A variety of online resources will be used to help people master the basics of opera quickly and easily, whether they have previously sung with a group or not, and a Zoom recording will be sent to the participants after each workshop.

Jacqui Cameron, Education Director at Opera North, said: ‘The  aim is to give everyone a taste of what it’s like to be a member of an operatic chorus, learning exciting repertoire and developing singing skills as part of a group. In these times of social distancing, we’re not able to hold the sessions face-to-face, but we know from our experience with Sing ON that participants still find it uplifting to be part of a virtual choir.

The sessions will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays over four weeks from Monday 20 July to Tuesday 11 August with the online performance on Wednesday 12 August.

To participate from Couch to Chorus, sign up online . And if you still need persuading that an online chorus can work, here’s what one Italian choir achieved during the early days of pandemic lockdown:



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