Leeds College of Music and Opera North announce new partnership

By Kath Hartley

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Leeds College of Music has formed a new partnership with Opera North, providing valuable learning opportunities for students on its Classical pathway

Opera North

The partnership is set to build on the long history of collaboration between two of Leeds’ leading musical institutions, giving LCoM students a direct link to the Classical music industry via the largest producing opera company in the North of England.

Opportunities for students will include playing side-by-side with the Orchestra of Opera North; observing the orchestral and opera production and rehearsal process; working with conductors and chorus masters on repertoire; and having access to workshops and masterclasses with visiting artists.

We are thrilled to partner with Opera North – an organisation which shares our commitment to innovation and artistic excellence in the North,” says Gerry Godley, Principal & Managing Director at LCoM.

Having this direct link between the next generation of Classical musicians from Leeds College of Music and the professional musicians of Opera North will allow us to work collaboratively to develop talented musicians and support the sustainability of Classical music in the North of England.

The partnership will have additional employability-focused activity, including Student in Residence placements and experience in project management and session delivery. Students will also have the opportunity to gain experience in music education through Opera North’s In Harmony community residency programme, which brings instrumental and vocal learning to over 1700 children in four schools in south Leeds. 

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“Performing side-by-side with a professional orchestral player offers a learning opportunity like no other,” says Programme Leader for Classical Music at LCoM, Damien Harron. “The opportunities from this new collaboration are the perfect complement to the industry-relevant education students receive at LCoM, setting musicians up for a diverse career in a changing industry.”

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This partnership is thoroughly exciting to us as an organisation,” adds Patsy Gilbert, Head of School of Performance at LCoM.

Opera North is one of the most distinguished opera companies in the country, and linking our students directly to them will not only enhance their learning experience, but will give them invaluable skills, knowledge and networking opportunities in a competitive industry. The opportunities available to them here will undoubtedly set them on the road to a successful career in music.”

Opera North will also input into Leeds College of Music’s opera scenes project, which takes place during its annual flagship festival, Sounds Like THIS.

Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North, comments: “Opera North is delighted to be formalising its long relationship with Leeds College of Music with a partnership that will enrich the cultures of both institutions, our city, and the arts at large.

A vast wealth of skills and experience go into producing our work, and our musicians, singers and artists have all experienced the unparalleled value of learning their craft first-hand. This new relationship with LCoM will allow them to pass on their expertise to new generations of practitioners in our field.”

The announcement coincides with ambitious capital projects for both of the organisations, with Opera North’s £18 million Music Works campaign promising a major redevelopment of its headquarters on New Briggate, including a dedicated Education Studio, by the end of summer 2020.

Leeds College of Music has recently launched brand new courses in performing arts, including Acting, Actor Musician and Musical Theatre, which welcomes its first cohort of students this September. The courses will be housed in a new campus in the recently developed Quarry Hill area. Over the last three years, Leeds College of Music has built a brand-new music library, a rooftop extension to its onsite performance venue and an innovative student workspace.

Find out more about BA Music (Classical) at Leeds College of Music

Find out more about Opera North

By Kath Hartley

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