How do you come together as a group to sing on Zoom? As we – and probably every other vocal group – discovered after a series of hilariously frustrating attempts in the first months of the pandemic, you just don’t! The instant more than one person sings, all sense of melody, rhythm and harmony are lost. And that magical feeling of your voice blending with others to create one big, beautiful, sound… just fizzles out.
So what does a company that delivers weekly singing workshops do during lockdown? How does it carry on supporting people recovering from homelessness? How does it continue to inspire and empower those who were already facing challenging circumstances, including social isolation, even before COVID-19? These are the questions we aim to answer in our Impact Report 2020-2021.
The report, peppered with interesting case studies, moving testimonials and noteworthy stats, chronicles our efforts to support Streetwise Opera participants as they continued to embrace their identity as artists who have beautiful voices, stories and creativity to share with the world.
We did manage to do a good amount of singing online (muting and unmuting participants at a breakneck speed so they could take turns doing solos!), and Streetwise vocal leaders delivered brilliant sing-along livestreams. But a lot of our work also allowed participants to explore other forms of creativity.
Streetwise performers came together via Zoom to co-create an opera working remotely with eight composers (we’ll be premiering one of the chapters from this work, The Deer, in early December!). They published their own art (poetry, drawings, paintings, photography, films) in A Gallery For All. They explored the music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, George Bridgetower, Ignatius Sancho and other composers, and they discovered – despite any initial self-consciousness – a new passion for dance!
This report fills us with pride as it is serves as a reminder that, even in the most challenging of circumstances, with the unwavering support of the most amazing funders and partners, we can find new ways to support Streetwise performers and co-create exciting operatic work that challenges perceptions of homelessness.
Read the report:
View the Infographic: