Tell Me The Truth About Love​

Tell me the truth about love_poster
A co-production with Royal Northern Sinfonia
Sage Two, Sage Gateshead

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April 2018

About this production

Tina has never been in love. Now she’s the bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding and can’t move for relatives asking: ‘When is it going to be you?’. But Tina insists she’s better off on her own. If you haven’t got love, you can’t lose it, right? Yet as the wedding day unfolds, her determination not to let anyone in starts to falter…

Streetwise Opera and Royal Northern Sinfonia present Tell Me The Truth About Love, a Tyneside #LoveOpera, featuring a range of classical, folk and modern music: from Mozart to Stevie Wonder, including Geordie favourites Big River, Blaydon Races and The Water of Tyne.

This lively music experience will make you laugh, sing along and shed a tear or two, as we celebrate 100 years of life and love on Tyneside.

The opera takes its title from one of Benjamin Britten’s Cabaret Songs, and includes new music by Will Todd and Anna Appleby. The world premiere is directed by Olivier Award winner Bijan Sheibani and designed by Linbury Prize winner Samal Blak, with story and text by Meriel Sheibani-Clare, and additional text by Streetwise Opera performers.

Tell Me The Truth About Love will be performed by adults from Streetwise Opera Newcastle Gateshead who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness, with critically-acclaimed mezzo-soprano Anna Huntley as Tina, and musicians from Royal Northern Sinfonia, and is produced by Streetwise Opera in partnership with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Sage Gateshead, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Recovery College Collective, Changing Lives and media partner BBC Newcastle.

The show lasts 75 minutes and there is no interval.


Tell Me The Truth About Love is produced by Streetwise Opera in partnership with Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Changing Lives and ReCoCo, with media partner BBC Newcastle.


This production is supported by Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust, The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, and The Linden Family Fund at the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.


Thank you to the below supporters who are helping make this production happen!

Arts Council England
Foyle Foundation
Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation
Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust
D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
The Linden Family Fund at the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
Anne Siddell
Benjamin Hayward Segal
David Cairns
Fiona Grant
Jane Furniss

Alan Cumming
Alan Kerr
Alex Van Vliet
Anthony Pinching
Avril Danczak
Christine Kirk
David Remfry and Caroline Hansberry
Duncan Ward
Gillian Lacey
Ingrid Wilkinson
James Acheson
Jennifer Hinves
Kate Sumpter - volunteer
Kath Wright
Laurence Cummings
Linda Laurance
Matthew Sebag-Montefiore
Paul Emery, Trustee and former performer
Penelope Thompson
Robert and Margaret Sanderson
Sandra Pearson
Sarah Rennie
Tim Geddes
Tom and Emily Kinane
Tommy Pearson


‘With songs ranging from Stevie Wonder to Benjamin Britten to Jimmy Nail, homeless charity Streetwise’s amateur singers have created a powerful and inspiring show. The stars are Streetwise Opera: the likes of Santino Tayler-Barrett, a crucifix tattoo creeping over his bridegroom’s suit, and Louise Webster, whose big heart fills the room as the bride. They and their talented co-stars are transforming their own lives and inspiring others.’

The Guardian

Tell Me the Truth About Love is a joyous and passionate celebration of Tyneside past and present. Director Bijan Sheibani has done a fine job, instilling great discipline in his large ensemble while giving them the freedom to lose themselves to their own energy.’

The Stage



Photos: Rey Trombetta, Mark Savage