The State of Homelessness here in the UK
Homelessness is on the rise. Welfare budgets continue to be cut. Fundraising is harder than ever.
Homeless people need more than a bed and a roof.
They need to be heard,
to be recognised as someone of worth,
to learn new skills,
and to feel wanted by a society which often finds it easier to look away.
Support Streetwise Opera’s new major production, Tell Me The Truth About Love, and in turn help give people who have experienced, or are at risk of, homelessness a life-changing experience on an internationally renowned stage. Help us change perceptions of what homeless people are capable of, given the right support.
Streetwise Opera Newcastle-Gateshead performers; photograph by Alan Kerr
About Streetwise Opera and our project
Streetwise Opera provides weekly singing and acting workshops in homeless centres and arts venues across the country, increasing participants’ wellbeing and social inclusion, helping them develop the skills and confidence needed to reintegrate into society. We also provide meaningful arts experiences including theatre trips to ENO and Opera North, work and voluntary placements and mentoring schemes. We produce a major, professional production with our participants biennially, all of which have received four- and five-star reviews. Of our participants last year, 95% experienced improved mental health and 80% felt they had developed better relationships as a result of attending our programmes.
Our upcoming major production, Tell Me The Truth About Love, is directed by Olivier-award winning Bijan Sheibani, will be performed by our participants in NewcastleGateshead alongside the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and staged at Sage Gateshead. It tells the story of 100 years of love on Tyneside, celebrating the rich offering of the North East – its talents and history.
The story will be told through the medium of a wedding, with audiences the wedding guests. Love in its many forms will be showcased as the bride, groom, best man and even a long lost cousin break into song and tell their tales.
This immersive opera features Benjamin Britten’s cabaret song, Tell me the truth about love, with words by W.H. Auden, and is inspired by variously funny and heart-breaking local tales, researched by Streetwise Opera performers in association with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums– from passion aboard the Tuxedo Princess to a die-hard fan's devotion to Newcastle United. The production will also feature new music created by composers Will Todd and Anna Appleby, and local songs including Jimmy Nail’s Big River and Bridie Jackson’s Final Lullaby.
Streetwise Opera’s workshops and major productions tangibly transform the lives of those who have experienced, or are at risk of, homelessness. Support this crowdfunding campaign and with your help we can realise this important and innovative project, changing lives and perceptions of homelessness for good!
What we need
We need £15,000 to make this production happen. Anything you can give will go towards:
- Realising a performance that will transform lives and changing perceptions of what homeless people can achieve
- Providing two hearty meals a day throughout the rehearsal period for the performers
- Providing costumes for the performers
Streetwise Opera and The Sixteen's major production, The Passion, 2016, as seen on BBC Four; photograph by Matt Webb
What you get
In return for your support, you won’t just get a warm glow, you’ll get some fabulous perks! Social media shout-outs, CDs and DVDs, tickets to the show, invitations to rehearsals – you can really get involved with the show and play your part in changing lives through music. See below for the rewards you can claim.
Other ways you can help
Please share this campaign far and wide with all your email contacts, on social media using #LoveOpera, and good old face-to-face talking to people! For this campaign to succeed we need all our friends and supporters, old and new to help us by spreading the news and encouraging people to contribute generously to the campaign.
Project Image by Sound Chaser Band
Video by Jonathan DeMelkon