Open Fund: Streetwise Opera
Streetwise Opera is an award-winning charity that uses music to help people make positive changes in their lives. Working with people who have experienced homelessness and other members of the community, we run workshop programmes across England and stage critically-acclaimed operas.
PRS for Music Foundation is supporting the new National Composers in Residence Programme. Streetwise Opera will be publishing an open call, and will then select five composers – one for each city they work in: London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle/Gateshead and Nottingham. Each composer will work with groups of performers based in homeless centres and arts venues, and write a new operatic chorus for their group. The pieces will be performed in an ‘Opera Hour’ event in an arts venue in each city, and again at our 15th anniversary celebration event in 2017.
They are looking for early-career composers who are interested in developing their skills working in participatory settings or for the stage. Composers will receive bespoke training and the chance to have their commissions performed in mainstream arts venues.
The first Composer in Residence, Stef Conner, said of her experience: “Collaborating with people who have experienced homelessness… has been one of the most creatively satisfying endeavours of my career and I have discovered that creating music with a broader purpose than simply giving voice to my individual ideas is something I am deeply committed to. The experience has changed the way I think about composition and will remain an integral aspect of my future musical career.”