About The Belfast Opera
The Belfast Opera is the development of a brand new opera about Belfast and the production of its World Premiere. Commissioned by Belfast Buildings Trust in the spring of 2015, the end result is “Long Story Short: The Belfast Opera.” It is inspired by the city’s confident heritage, but “Long Story Short: The Belfast Opera” is about the city’s future as much as its past.
Written by award-winning artists Neil Martin and Glenn Patterson, the libretto and music have drawn inspiration from hundreds of people who participated in several months of community workshops. The Belfast Opera has been about telling the everyday story of the people who make the city work: “Long Story Short” would not exist without the memories and hopes of the people who shared them.
The Belfast Opera will have its World Premiere on June 18th and 19th 2016 in the partially regenerated Carlisle Memorial Church in north Belfast. It will feature the internationally renowned baritone, Bruno Caproni, three early-career Irish singers, Ross Scanlon, Rebecca Rodgers, and Bríd Ní Ghruagáin, and a specially created 100-member Community Chorus of people from Belfast, many of whom have never sung before.
The development of The Belfast Opera has evolved over three phases: exploring, singing, creating.
- 30 community workshops hosted by five Community Partners involving hundreds of people in spring and summer 2015
- 12 schools workshops with 11-14 year olds in five Greater Belfast schools
- 6 taster workshops for the creation of the Community Chorus
- A special Community Creative programme, delivered with the Prince’s Trust and the Lyric Theatre, as a skills development initiative for young people not in education, employment, or training
“Long Story Short: The Belfast Opera” was developed in partnership with a range of community partners from across the city: East Belfast Community Development Agency, Conway Mill, Cavehill Community Choir, Morton Community Centre, the Prince’s Trust, NI Opera, and the Lyric Theatre. Funded by Belfast City Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through the Creative & Cultural Belfast Fund, The Belfast Opera is about challenging the barriers of participation in high quality arts for people of all backgrounds.
In short, The Belfast Opera, and the creation of “Long Story Short” takes the city’s world-class industrial and commercial heritage as its cue. It captures the spirit of ambition and creativity that made Belfast great. It tells a new story about Belfast: of a city no longer filled with doubt and uncertainty but driven by purpose and confidence.
“Long Story Short: The Belfast Opera” is your story, your city, your opera.