Britten-inspired 15th anniversary season

Our Composers in Residence. L-R: Alex Patterson, Anna Appleby, Litha Efthymiou, Ella Jarman-Pinto, Bushra El-Turk
Sage Gateshead. Photo: Mark Savage
Royal Northern Sinfonia. Photo: Mark Savage

We're delighted to announce a Benjamin Britten-inspired 15th anniversary season!

Our inaugural production in 2002 was Britten’s Canticles at Westminster Abbey. We have now selected five new Composers in Residence to create original responses to these canticles to be performed at our Opera Hours across England in spring 2017.

Selected from more than 100 applicants, the five Composers in Residence are: Anna ApplebyLitha EfthymiouBushra El-TurkElla Jarman-Pinto and Alex Patterson. Supported by PRS for Music Foundation, each composer is collaborating with Streetwise Opera’s performers in one of our five regions to create a new 3-5 minute chorus. Click here to find out more about the Composers in Residence

In spring 2018, we will also present a world premiere in collaboration with Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. The new work will feature Britten’s Cabaret Songs, with words by W.H. Auden, alongside other cabaret repertoire. It will be performed in Sage Gateshead’s Sage Two by our Newcastle and Gateshead performers and Royal Northern Sinfonia.

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Streetwise Opera’s 2016-18 season is supported by PRS for Music Foundation, Arts Council England, Macquarie Group Foundation and Big Lottery Fund.

Sage Gateshead is an international home for music and musical discovery located in the North East of England. Its local, national and international concert programme runs year round and incorporates all kinds of music. It is home to Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, and the Folkworks programme as well as providing a much broader performance programme. Sage Gateshead offers an extensive Join In and Make Music programme that enables everyone of every age or ability to become involved in music. In addition to the work in Sage Gateshead itself, 70% of the work of the programme takes place outside of the venue and in the communities. 

Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra, has built a distinctive reputation as a fresh-thinking and versatile orchestra. The orchestra was founded in 1958 by BBC musicologist and producer Michael Hall. The Queen bestowed the title of ‘Royal’ on Northern Sinfonia in 2013, recognising it as one of the UK’s finest orchestras – the first time any UK orchestra has been so honoured for over 20 years. Part of a vibrant programme of music at Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern Sinfonia regularly collaborates with artists from other art forms including Sting, Pet Shop Boys, Joanna Newsom, Efterklang, Spiritualized, Lau and Raul Malo.

Anna Appleby grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne. She read Music at Oxford and recently completed her MMus in Composition at RNCM. She has written for the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, the Cavaleri Quartet and the BBC Singers, among others. Her compositional interests include opera, dance, and music within community and educational settings.

Litha Efthymiou is a London-based composer. She has received awards from ACE, Wellcome Trust, PRS Women Make Music and National Lottery. Her work has been performed in venues including Queen Elizabeth Hall, Kings Place, RAH Elgar Room, The Sage Gateshead and Bristol St.George's. Her compositions are published by Edition HH.

Selected by the BBC as one of the world’s most inspiring 100 women, Bushra El-Turk’s music has been both performed and broadcast on radio and television globally. She has collaborated with the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Orchestras, London Sinfonietta, Royal Opera House (ROH2), the Latvian Radio Choir and the Atlas Ensemble (Holland) amongst others.

Composer, singer and teacher Ella Jarman-Pinto lives in Cumbria and studied at Guildhall School of Music. Ella performs her own compositions and arrangements of early music with her vocal group, Carvetti Trio.

Alex Patterson is a Northern Irish-born composer and conductor based in Nottingham. He is Director of Music for Nottingham Cathedral and works as a freelance conductor for numerous community-based choirs as well as composing for groups of all ages and abilities.