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Bridie. and Bridie. and The Arbour the Arbour on bill beside opera.

Byline: Joanne Welford Reporter

A BRAND new opera composed with the help of a charity that uses music and opera to help homeless people will get its premiere in Middlesbrough.

The River Keeper is a collaboration between Streetwise and North-east folk band Bridie Jackson and The Arbour and will be performed at Middlesbrough Town Hall today. The band will play a double bill alongside the performance of the opera which is a timeless story of hope, love and the power of the elements.

The darkly-humorous tale is created from the stories told by the cast of Streetwise Opera performers and set around the River Keeper - who has lived on the riverbank for 100 years, watching as people feed their hopes and dreams into the waters.

Streetwise Opera stages a major new opera production every two years -this latest production will be supported by a Little Opera Season, a set of smaller new opera commissions being created with Streetwise groups across the country.

"I have admired the work Streetwise Opera do for a long time, so it's a real honour to be asked to compose a new piece for this incredible group, whose fearless and committed working style is nothing short of inspirational," said Bridie.

"Musically, it's been an exciting opportunity to work outside of my comfort zone, and I'm looking forward to being involved in performing the new piece."

Streetwise Opera's Matt Peacock said: "Ever since our North-east groups sang Bridie's Final Lullaby for the Holocaust Memorial Day, I have wanted us to work with her again.

Her music is sensational and she is one of the most exciting artists work-work ing in the North east."

All of Streetwise's opera productions feature performers who have experienced homelessness. Streetwise has worked with more than 3,000 homeless people since its foundation in 2002 and runs regular programmes at Middlesbrough's mima and at The Sage, Gateshead.

Tickets for The River Keeper at Middlesbrough Town Hall tonight at 7.30pm are PS10, PS7 concs.


Members of the Streetwise Opera will perform in The River Keeper

Bridie Jackson |and The Arbour

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2014
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