Joining the group at Sage Gateshead

My interest in Streetwise Opera came about a few weeks ago while watching Inside Out on BBC1. My ears pricked up when I heard the word opera.

I have a great love of music of all kinds, but opera is my favorite. I watched with great interest and wanted to know more. I wanted to to get involved in some way, not sure if I would be able to sing. I have a number of years experience within choirs, also in amateur theater covering front of house, back stage with props and costume aswell as being on stage. I felt I could bring something to Streetwise even though my confidence is very low. I have suffered many, many years of depression and anxiety, but the past ten years have been the worst. I lost my son ten years ago and my mother not long after; my world caved in around me to the point that I couldn't leave the house alone. My partner left me too and I decided to move back up north to be nearer to my brothers. Sadly I also lost one of my brothers recently which caused a lapse in my recovery.

I had been part of the Lindesfarne Gosples Community Choir last summer which boosted my confidence. It was wonderful to be in a choir again and we got a chance to do a workshop with Sir Tomas Allan.The choir disbanded when the gosples left Durham which left me feeling rather lost. My voice is not as good as it used to be but it still has some mileage in it and I knew I needed to sing. I belt out a few note while listening to Classic FM but I needed to be part of a group.

So when I heard about Streetwise Opera I had to be involved. I checked out the website and left a message on Facebook to which I got a reply to come to Sage Gateshead on a Tueday afternoon. I live a generous bus ride away but I committed to £6 bus fare and made my first visit.

My anxiety was doing its best to skupper my efforts but I got there with time to spare. I was soon greeted by a chap wearing my favorite color purple. He introduced himself as the support worker and he took my details then explained a few things which to be honest went in one ear and out the other. Folk were gathering and we entered the room. There was no hanging about as introductions were made in a lively rhythmical style. Then onto the vocal warm up exercises and then we got on with the singing. The afternoon whizzed past and I was impressed with the wonderful sound the group made. The past few weeks have been great with the bonus of singing pieces for Mozart's Magic Flute. I will say that the top F in the Queen of the Nights aria was beyond me!!!

Plain and simple, I love Streetwise Opera!  The benifit of being in such a group is that you forget your troubles once we start singing. I am making new friendships too. I have even brought my brother along too. I am looking forward now even if its just one week at a time.

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