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Opera workshops to support ethnic minority artists

London's Royal Opera House. Photo: Rob Moore/ROH London's Royal Opera House. Photo: Rob Moore/ROH
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The Royal Opera House, Opera North and London’s Lyric Hammersmith have launched a new workshop week for black, Asian and minority ethnic artists who are interested in opera.

Composers, songwriters and music-makers from BAME backgrounds will explore opera together by meeting potential collaborators, developing ideas, working with singers and musicians and receiving feedback on their work.

At the end of the scheme, which hopes to “redress the imbalance” in stories told on stage and is aimed at artists who have not previously engaged with opera, a set of development commissions will be announced.

The workshop week will take place at the Lyric Hammersmith from July 3-7, with applicants living outside London eligible to receive help with travel expenses and accommodation costs.

Applications for the scheme have now closed, with a group of about 20 participants to be selected in the coming weeks.

John Fulljames, associate director of opera at the Royal Opera House, said: “Lyric Hammersmith, Opera North and the Royal Opera are collaborating to reach out to writers, theatremakers and musicians who haven’t previously engaged with, or seen a place for themselves in, the world of opera or music theatre.

“We want to redress the imbalance in the stories and storytellers on our stages by focusing on developing the wealth of talent and experience of artists who identify as BAME.”

He added: “We are welcoming new voices who can challenge and interrogate our art form. We believe our art can only be great if it’s truly diverse; we are investing now to ensure audiences and opera makers of the future reflect the communities we live in.”

A spokeswoman added that the Royal Opera House also offers an MA course in opera making and writing with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as a route into opera.