Opera singers to join community in performing Bizet’s Carmen – in an hour

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OPERA singers are on song to help a Sunderland festival hit the high note.

Leading opera singers Emily Smith and David Pisaro will host a workshop at the Summer Streets festival that will look at Bizet’s Carmen in an hour.

The free festival, being staged in Thompson Park, Southwick, on July 19, is being held as part of The Cultural Spring, an Arts Council-funded project bringing arts and culture to five wards in Sunderland and five in South Tyneside.

Soprano Emily and David, a tenor, are experienced opera singers who have performed all over Europe.

The couple have been engaged for Summer Streets by Music in the Minster, a charity working out of Sunderland Minster to bring leading figures from the world of opera to share their skills and passions with Wearside communities.

Project manager Louise Taylor said: “Emily and David will host a workshop which will be accessible, fun and a real laugh. It will be frantic, full of energy and if anyone has seen the Reduced Shakespeare Company then they will know what to expect.”

Louise added: “The workshop will last an hour, start with a warm-up and then go into a whistle-stop tour of the world’s most popular opera.

“Emily and David will perform solos and lead group singing, particularly choruses which people will recognise even if they didn’t realise the songs are from Carmen.

“It will dispel the myth that opera always has to be very serious, it can be a laugh too and Emily and David will prove this.”

The workshop is suitable for anyone aged over seven and no experience is needed.

It will start at 3.40pm on the day of the festival.