Welcome to the March edition of our Bridgewater For All Playback, where we look back at the highlights of the Learning and Participation programme at The Bridgewater Hall for this month. From operas filled with flying unicorns, to Māori love songs and Morris dancing, March has been a month filled with imagination, celebration and togetherness. We hope you enjoy reading!
The L&P Department
Streetwise Opera – Re:sound, 20 March 2023
This month we were so proud to host the premiere of Streetwise Opera’s outstanding Re:sound festival at the Hall. Working hard to break down assumptions of who the arts are made for and by, Streetwise Opera is an organisation who enable those with lived experience of homeless to find their voice through opera.
The event saw Streetwise performers come together at the Hall to deliver nine micro-operas that have been co-written in workshops with leading composers and Streetwise groups from Nottingham, London, and Manchester over the past year. Each micro-opera celebrates that which makes our cities and its people unique. From the resilience of the iconic Manchester working bee to the rich diversity of London, and the bold rebellious history of Nottingham. This invitation to re-discover our cities, and more importantly our pride in them, through the voices and imaginations of Streetwise performers was truly inspiring.
On stage, Streetwise performers were supported by an amazing ensemble from the BBC Concert Orchestra, singers from The Sixteen, whilst a backdrop of dreamlike animations from award winning theatre company 1927 set the stage.
This event was performed to an audience over 1,200 school children from across Manchester, and included a workshop called ‘how to write a micro-opera’. With leading Streetwise composers, the children wrote an opera titled ‘The Flying Unicorn of Kenworthy Woods’ which went down a storm. It was a brilliantly imaginative workshop, showing how accessible opera can be.
Find out more about Streetwise Opera and Re:sound here.
The Bridgewater Hall Singers (BWHS)
Our wonderful lunchtime choir, the Bridgewater Hall Singers (BWHS) have been working hard preparing for their upcoming performance at National Trust’s, Castlefield Viaduct on 26th April. The group (who turned 8 years old last month!) will be welcoming in Spring as part of the Trust’s ‘Blossom Watch’ with a setlist which celebrated this special time of the year as well as Manchester’s rich history. Recent songs have included Māori love song Pokarekare Ana and Petula Clark’s iconic Downtown. So, if you’re in the area on the 26th April, please do come give us a listen!
We are always welcoming new members to our choir. To find out more, please feel free to get in touch at email@example.com.
Find out more about our BWHS here.
Find out more about the National Trust, Castlefield Viaduct here.
Live Music Now, Songs and Scones – 17 March 2023
We’re proud to host Live Music Now’s joyous Songs and Scones programme at the Hall. These concerts bring older people’s community groups and nursing homes together over a cup of tea (and chat!), a scone and live performance from professional musicians. For our March concert, we welcomed over eighty guests to the Hall, where percussionist Ali and vocalist/bassist Alice took us on a musical journey around the world with tunes from the likes of The Beatles, Nina Simone and Edith Piaf.
Find out more about Songs and Scones here.
Live Music Now, Relaxed Schools Concert – 13 March 2023
On the 13th March we welcomed over 60 school children from special schools across Manchester to our relaxed Live Music Now concert. Led this month by the lovely Rosie and Jamie from the Dovetail Duo, these concerts are all about making noise, joining in, and having fun – and these schools didn’t disappoint. Dovetail’s folky tunes meant we had everything from Morris dancing to sea shanties!
Find out more about our Relaxed Schools Concerts here.
Throughout March music production students from BIMM and Access to Music came to the Hall for our hugely popular technical tours. Our technicians, Jordan and Andy, gave students backstage access, sharing all the tricks of the trade. Combined with a public tour, students get a bird’s eye view of the auditorium from the rigging nets (fear of heights? Best not to look down) whilst hearing stories of the many big names who have graced the main stage.
Tours are free for Manchester based education venues, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Early Years Programme
Music Makers, 24 March 2023
We had a ribbet-ing time hopping around the world with Antonio the Amazonian tree frog at Music Makers this month. Alice and Louise from Simply Singing led this session, sharing songs from all corners of the globe, including a beautiful lullaby from the Congo! These toddlers and babies’ sessions encourage sensory play through music and feature a different theme each month.
Live Music Now, Be Hear Now, 19 March 2023
Be Hear Now is our monthly relaxed concert and workshop for children with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) and their families. Led by the wonderful Beth Bishop, Be Hear Now features different acts from Live Music Now’s amazing roster of musicians. This month, Rafael and Borna from Duo Chuva blew us away with their classical guitar and mandolin combo, whilst Beth taught us all about dynamics in the interactive workshop.
To find out more about our Early Years programme, click here.