Performing at Homeless Link's conference

Nottingham performer Jeremy Bartys writes about Homeless Link's conference in Leicester on 5 July:

On a hot sweaty summer's day in July, the Streetwise Opera Nottingham Explore Group hijacked a minibus from central Nottingham train station and ordered the driver nicely to take us all the way to the Homeless Link conference at the Jurys Inn Hotel in Leicester. Having taken a wrong turn on the merry-go-roundabout we eventually arrived at the Jurys Inn a little later then scheduled. But hey ho!!! It was off to serious work - rehearsals and plenty of singing for the Nottingham Explore Group adventurers after a quick spot of delightful delicious lunch provided by the caterering staff at the Jurys Inn.

We barely had time to think about stuffing the cheesecake in our beaks before Neil and Tim, our groovy workshop leaders, threw us in at the deep end as they regularly do every Tuesday afternoon, whisking us into a swift, sharp, smooth, flowing rehearsal. Then we finally performed another masterpiece show for the Homeless Link conference delegates.

Performers of the Nottingham Explore Group - Jim, John, Jeremy, Kevin, Marie, Diane, Anne, Adam, Simon, Wendy, Paul, Caroline, David, Paddy, Clive - plus our new lovely support worker Melanie, have been busy like buzzing bees over the last month rehearsing 'The Barber of Nottingham', song extracts from Turandot by Puccini, and the enchanting, mesomorising, haunting, harmonic The Door by Alex Patterson. The Streetwise Opera Nottingham performers did an amazing job, wowing the audience at the conference. Delegates even had a little sing-song themselves!

John was very theatrical leading 'When the saints come marching in', Simon got half the audience rocking with 'I wanna sing sing sing', and Caroline got the rest of the audience boogying on down with 'Swing low sweet chariot'... before we chopped off the Persian prince's head in Turnadot and treaded softly through Patterson's Door towards the tree of souls, setting ourselves free into light and peace. It was a very exhausting but invigorating performance despite blazing, sweltering temperatures. Hopefully next year we will be invited back to the conference to perform even more amazing songs.

Many thanks to Neil and Tim for warming us up, cracking their whips vocally, and working us as hard as ever over the summer. Happy 15th birthday to Streetwise Oper for this year - hard to believe that the first Streetwise erformance was back in 2002 at Westminister Abbey in London. The Streetwise Opera Nottingham Explorer Group is having a celebration and an open mic performance  to commererate and remember 15 amazing years at Streetwise Opera. We are also looking forward to a big slice of birthday cake - yum yum yum!!!!