A Concert of Hope to remember those who have died on the streets of Manchester

Street Requiem is an opportunity to experience sheer beauty, profound melancholy, and absolute hope and joy

This uplifting and spiritual requiem brings together influences from gospel, classical, Celtic and African drumming, with inspiring lyrics in Latin, Greek, English, Farsi and Zulu

The number of homeless people who have died on the streets has doubled in the last five years. They need to be acknowledged if we are to move towards a positive change in how our society deals with homelessness, says charity Streetwise Opera

The powerful and uplifting Street Requiem, that has inspired and delighted audiences around the world, from Auckland’s Great Hall to New York’s Carnegie Hall, will be performed at Manchester Cathedral to remember those who have died on the streets of Manchester due to homelessness.

A Concert of Hope, on 22 September at 8:00pm, is organised by Streetwise Opera and Sing The World, a choir of Australian, US and UK singers conducted by Dr Jonathon Welch AM.

The event also includes a performance by Streetwise Opera, whose immersive opera in Manchester, The Passion (★★★★★ The Times), was broadcast by BBC Four in 2016 and seen by a combined audience of 140,000.

Street Requiem is an opportunity to experience sheer beauty, profound melancholy, and absolute hope and joy in one piece of music. It brings together influences from gospel, classical, Celtic, neo-Romantic, neo-Baroque, African drumming and contemporary genres, with inspiring lyrics in Latin, Greek, English, Farsi and Zulu.

Street Requiem aims to challenge and push audiences out of their comfort zone, by urging them to stop passively watching injustices ‘from the stall’, while criticising cities that ‘wash all the blood from the street so that tourists still come’.

Bridget Rennie, Co-Executive Director of Streetwise Opera, said:

Rough sleeping continues to increase, and recent research has revealed that the number of homeless people who have died on the streets or in temporary accommodation has doubled in the last five years. These people need to be acknowledged and remembered, if we are to change how our society deals with homelessness. This event gives us the opportunity to do that while raising vital funds for a charity that supports homeless people in a creative and meaningful way.

Street Requiem was conceived by Dr Jonathon Welch AM, founder of the award-winning Choir of Hard Knocks and School of Hard Knocks and was co-composed with Kathleen McGuire, founder of Singers of the Street, a choir of people affected by homelessness in San Francisco, and Andy Payne, a volunteer with the Choir of Hard Knocks, a choral group for homeless and disadvantaged people in Melbourne.

The critically-acclaimed piece will see its UK premiere in Edinburgh on 20 September, as part of the European leg of their world tour that also includes a performance in London on 28 September, 2018.

The performance at Manchester Cathedral will raise funds for Streetwise Opera, an award-winning national charity that uses music to help people who have experienced homelessness make positive changes in their lives. To book tickets go to www.streetwiseopera.org/street-requiem.

Sing The World is a massed choir that brings singers together from Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, conducted by the Street Requiem’s co-creator Jonathon Welch. In 2007, Welch’s work creating choirs for the homeless and disadvantaged in Australia was the subject of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning TV documentary ‘Choir of Hard Knocks’. He has been recognised for his outstanding commitment to the music industry, youth music education and his work with marginalised and homeless communities. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s birthday honours, 2009.

Streetwise Opera is an award-winning national charity that uses music to help people make positive changes in their lives. Working with people who are or have been homeless, it runs workshop programmes across England, stages critically-acclaimed operas and produces With One Voice, an international arts and homelessness movement. Its latest major production, Tell Me The Truth About Love, was performed at Sage Gateshead in April 2018 (‘a powerful and inspiring show’ ★★★★ The Guardian).