The Belfast Opera

“Come and sing” event to launch special Belfast Opera Community Chorus During Culture Night

Posted on: 7th September 2015

Belfast Buildings Trust and Northern Ireland Opera today announced the creation of a unique community chorus for The Belfast Opera. A special “Come and Sing” event as part of Culture Night 2015 will be the first in a series of recruitment events. The chorus will involve 120 people with little or no singing experience, from across Belfast, performing in the world premiere of The Belfast Opera in June 2016.

Commissioned by Belfast Buildings Trust, The Belfast Opera is a once-in-a-generation experience for people to get involved in creating an opera to tell the story of Belfast. The project will involve hundreds of people in the development, performing and creating of a brand new opera about Belfast as a place of ambition and confidence.

The next phase of the project involves recruiting a chorus of 120 people. The first event in the recruitment drive involves three drop-in taster workshops between 6pm and 9pm on Friday 18th September in Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church as part of Culture Night 2015. Participants who gather on the hour will get take part in some typical warm-up exercises and then rehearse a song for a performance on the half-hour. The event is open to everyone to see what is involved in a community chorus and, like all Culture Night activities, is free of charge.

Monthly workshops will be held over the winter for the chorus to be developed. A series of schools workshops will also be held throughout the city during the autumn to encourage teenagers to get involved.

Launching “The Belfast Opera Chorus Come and Sing” event, Shane Quinn from Belfast Buildings Trust said “This is a very exciting part of The Belfast Opera. We want people from every part of Belfast, from every background, to get involved in making The Belfast Opera happen. This is about telling a story of Belfast’s confidence and for that to work we need Belfast people to sing it.”

Joining him in Carlisle Memorial Church, Cliona Donnelly from Northern Ireland Opera, added that “We are thrilled to be launching the chorus during Culture Night 2015. The “Come and Sing” event is about letting people see that opera is for everyone. There are no auditions for the chorus. This is about getting people from all walks of life involved in telling Belfast’s story.”


Notes to editors:

  1. The Belfast Opera is a collaboration between six partners, led by Belfast Buildings Trust and involving Northern Ireland Opera, East Belfast Community Development Agency, Conway Mill, Morton Community Centre and Cavehill Community Choir, to develop a brand new opera from scratch and which tells an ambitious and confident story about Belfast; Glenn Patterson is writing the libretto and Neil Martin is composing the score
  2. The Belfast Opera is funded by Belfast City Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as a Creative and Cultural Belfast project; the world premiere performances will take place in Carlisle Memorial Church on June 17th, 18th and 19th 2016
  3. The “Come and Sing” event during Culture Night will involve three sessions of 30 minutes rehearsal starting at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm, and three 10 minute performances of the pop-up chorus at 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm.
  4. Details of the winter chorus rehearsals will be released on in advance of Culture Night; for further information contact Shane Quinn on 07525785039 or

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