OPERA North is launching ONe-to-ONe, an initiative to bring live performance into homes across the country on Zoom, forging connections through music during Lockdown 3.
Designed in response to the increasing feeling of isolation at home in the pandemic, and the continuing impact of the loss of the usual culture fixes, ONe-to-ONe will provide personal online performances delivered by members of the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North.
Slots will be available to book online. From a cappella arias and folk songs to Bach cello suites and a marimba solo, the recipient will be treated to a free virtual solo at a time of their choice, performed by a professional musician over Zoom.
Building on the success of the carol concert streamed by the Leeds company to care homes in the run-up to Christmas, ONe-to-ONe performances also will be offered to residential homes to keep residents entertained and engaged with culture while the possibilities for social interaction remain limited.
Community groups will be invited to enjoy a special lockdown performance as part of the project too.
Phil Boughton, Opera North’s director of Orchestra and Chorus, says: “We’re aware that many people are finding this lockdown the hardest of all. It has also been a really testing time for the members of our Chorus and Orchestra who, due to the ongoing restrictions, have been unable to perform in front of an audience for many months.
“ONe-to-ONe grew out of a desire on the part of our musicians to forge a musical connection with someone in need of a boost and to bring a moment of joy into people’s lives.
“The repertoire will be a ‘lucky dip’ with the performance kept under wraps until everyone is ready online, but anyone who takes part can be assured of an extraordinary experience streamed direct into their home.”
Each pay-as-you-feel performance will last around ten minutes, and slots should be booked on the Opera North website, operanorth.co.uk, up to 48 hours in advance. Initially, they will be offered from Monday, February 15 to Saturday, February 27, with more than 90 performances available for booking during that time.
David Greed, leader of the Orchestra of Opera North, says: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the reactions of people when we perform for them.
“It will certainly feel very different for me to be playing in my home and for the audience to be sitting in their living room rather than a theatre or concert hall, but it is wonderful that technology gives us the opportunity to keep in touch in this way.
“If ONe-to-ONe puts a smile on people’s faces and provides them with a memorable experience during lockdown, it will definitely have been worth it.”
ONe-to-ONe joins Opera North’s other online options, such as the Little School of Music for primary-aged children, Orchestral Academy Online for young musicians and Writing Home song-writing workshops to help to create an art installation in the new Howard Opera Centre, in New Briggate, when it opens later this year.