Football opera will sing the story of Sunderland AFC

Sunderland gets ready to hit the high notes ...'Award winning North East author David Almond (2nd from left) Sunderland-born Artistic Director Alison Barton from Music in the Minster (2nd from right) International award-winning composer Marcos Fernandez (right) and Musical Director Marco Romano (left) who are creating an opera based on Sunderland AFC.

Sunderland gets ready to hit the high notes ...'Award winning North East author David Almond (2nd from left) Sunderland-born Artistic Director Alison Barton from Music in the Minster (2nd from right) International award-winning composer Marcos Fernandez (right) and Musical Director Marco Romano (left) who are creating an opera based on Sunderland AFC.

2
Have your say

CULTURE chiefs have commissioned a new opera to tell the story of Sunderland football club.

“An Opera for Sunderland” is the latest project announced as part of The Cultural Spring programme, working with Music in the Minster and the Foundation of Light.

The work will be written by award-winning North East author David Almond and composer Marcos Fernandez.

David said: “I love football, I love opera, I Iove the North East. Football is imbued with operatic language and emotion: saviours and messiahs, destiny and miracles, glory and disappointment, joy and despair.

“It has a wonderful soundscape: the singing, the groaning, the cheering of crowds.

“I aim to write a story that embodies the passion of football, that focuses on Sunderland AFC and its great supporters, that draws on the club’s great history, and that is filled with the poetic accent, rhythms and dialect of north eastern speech.”

Marcos added: “I am very much looking forward to composing this new opera for the people of Sunderland, with football at the heart of the story.

“It is a community I feel is similar to my own in the city of Barcelona, where football also plays a big role in society.”

The Opera for Sunderland will see Wearsiders get involved alongside professional talent.

Organisers want to see Sunderland folk sharing their stories, attending workshops, creating digital stories of their experiences, and even performing in the finished piece.

Sunderland-born Artistic Director Alison Barton said there were many parallels between the world of football and the world of opera.

She said: “The elite performers in both dedicate their lives to training and discipline – but anyone can ‘have a go’.” ore details, including how to take part, will be available this autumn. For the latest •To keep up to date, sign up to Music in the Minster’s mailing list at www.musicintheminster.org.uk