With One Voice

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RT @crowdfunderuk: @StreetwiseOpera are transforming lives and changing perceptions with their opera experience. https://t.co/UuPddbPGSC
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FAQs

Why opera?
How do I become a workshop leader? 
Can you give me advice on the project I’m setting up with homeless/vulnerable adults?
Can we collaborate on a project?
Can I visit a workshop? 
Can Streetwise Opera perform at my event?
I’m organising an event, can someone come and speak?
How can I support Streetwise Opera? 
Can I volunteer with you?
Can I take part in a workshop?
Do I have to be able to sing to join in?
I’ve been a performer for a while now, what can I do next?
I want to bring my clients along to a session, what should I do?
Can you run workshops in my centre?

Why opera?
Our experience has shown and there is evidence demonstrating that involvement in creative activity presents many benefits to people recovering from homelessness. In particular, singing in a group has well-documented benefits in terms of improving wellbeing - multiple studies have shown that it can boost the immune system, reduce anxiety and stress levels, help people cope with chronic pain, and lessen feelings of depression and loneliness.

Because opera is often perceived as an elitist artform and people sometimes feel it’s not for them, when they do engage and succeed in taking part, their beliefs in what they are capable of are fundamentally challenged. Engagement builds people’s confidence and self-esteem and the fact that we treat participants first and foremost as performers with something creative to contribute (as not solely as homeless people with problems) changes the way that they see themselves. See our history pages for more information about how and why Streetwise Opera was set up.

How do I become a workshop leader?
Our current workshop leaders are drawn from a pool of professional musicians and singers who are experienced in facilitating workshops. We sometimes have space for new leaders to join the team, ideally with similar levels of training and experience. Potential workshop leaders can send their CV (including professional artistic engagements and relevant outreach work) to info@streetwiseopera.org. Once someone has been considered to join the pool of leaders, they will be invited to attend a workshop and lead a short section of material. We also run training days for leaders who are interested in learning more about making opera accessible to vulnerable adults. Whilst attending one of these training days does not guarantee becoming a leader with us, it is a great way to gain insight into Streetwise Opera's workshop structure, and would definitely be an asset if applying to join our pool of facilitators.

Can you give me advice on the project I’m setting up with homeless/vulnerable adults?
The best place to turn for advice and resources is Homeless Link’s Get Creative: Arts for All. You can also look read our core values. If you still have questions, please email info@streetwiseopera.org and we’ll try to help.

Can we collaborate on a project?
We plan our production seasons well in advance but we’re always interested to hear about exciting ideas and ways to collaborate. Please email us with details to info@streetwiseopera.org.

Can I visit a workshop?
Occasionally we can arrange workshop visits to our groups. Please contact the Programme Producer with details of where, when and why you’d like to visit.

Can Streetwise Opera perform at my event?
We can provide a 15-20 minute performance set with opera choruses and video explaining what Streetwise Opera does. If that sounds suitable for your event, please contact the Programme Producer with details including dates, location and an indication of your budget.

I’m organising an event, can someone come and speak?
Yes, team members are available to speak about using opera with vulnerable adults, participatory arts and evaluating arts projects. We can also offer creative alternatives like taster workshops, ice breakers, post-lunch singing warm-ups and screenings of our film operas. Please get in touch with details.

How can I support Streetwise Opera?
You can support Streetwise Opera in all kinds of ways, from making a one-off donation and becoming a Friend to getting your company involved or volunteering. Please visit our support us section for more information.

Can I volunteer with you?
We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help, whether at our public performances, for fundraising events, in administration or for our workshop programme. Please see our volunteering page for details about how to apply.

Can I take part in a workshop?
If you are experiencing or have recently experienced homelessness, we would encourage you to come to one of our Drop-in sessions. Our Explore sessions are open to anyone, and include people who are vulnerably housed (e.g. living in a hostel, B&B or sofa-surfing) or have previous experience of homelessness. We welcome anyone who would benefit from a boost in confidence, self-esteem and the chance to meet new people in a relaxed, friendly and creative atmosphere. Priority for joining is given to people who've experienced homelessness.

Visit our take part section for more information about the timings and locations of our groups.

Do I have to be able to sing to join in?
We welcome anyone regardless of ability and there are never any auditions. We will never make you join in with anything that makes you uncomfortable in the workshops, although many people are surprised by how quickly they find themselves on their feet and singing!

I’ve been a performer for a while now - what can I do next?
We would love you to get involved with other arts organisations. We can help by arranging and supporting you to find work placements or volunteering opportunities, which could last from one day to several months. We can also help you find other creative groups in your area to join. Email Lucinda or call 020 7730 9551 to find out more.

I want to bring my clients along to a session, what should I do?
We love it when support workers bring along clients to try our sessions. Please get in touch with our Programme Producer to tell us when you’d like to come and who you’re bringing – usually bringing people towards the beginning of our Explore Group terms works best.

Can you run workshops in my centre?
We usually form long-term relationships with our partner centres. It is our long-term strategy to run two workshop groups in each of our current cities before branching out to new areas. But we can offer a two-week taster programme at your venue, which can be really effective at getting clients engaged with our work and prepared to join our existing groups. Please contact our Programme Producer if you’d like to find out more.