Top West End names to run Sunderland summer school

Sunderland University Performing Arts students  with renowned opera singer Graham Danby.
Sunderland University Performing Arts students with renowned opera singer Graham Danby.
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SOME of the biggest names in musical theatre are heading to Sunderland for a five-day summer school.

Singers, dancers and actors will work with West End musical director Greg Arrowsmith and leading choreographer Shelby Williams on a series of workshops with world-renowned opera and musicals star Graeme Danby.

The summer school, for young performers aged between 16 and 28, will culminate in a public performance at Sunderland Minster.

Those taking part will also receive vocal tuition from the leading soprano Valerie Reid from English National Opera.

Graeme Danby, who is visiting professor of music at the University of Sunderland, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for young performers from the North East to work with some of the biggest names in the business.”

Musical Director Greg Arrowsmith, whose credits include Hairspray, Chess, Chorus Line, Happy Days and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has worked all over the world.

Choreographer and dancer Shelby Williams is best known for her work on Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, The Car Man and Nutcracker and she’s now involved in the new West End show Made in Dagenham.

Shelby will be joined by choreographer and University of Sunderland dance lecturer Sarah Riach. The week-long event in Sunderland city centre begins on Monday, June 23, and will run between 10am and 5pm until Friday, culminating in a final performance at Sunderland Minster on Friday, June 27, at 5.30pm.

Tickets for the show will be available at the door of the Minster, priced £5.

Graeme added: “This event was a massive success last year and this year’s summer school is shaping up to be just as exciting.

“This is the place to see the musical stars of the future.

“The support on offer is second to none and will help young people fuel their creative ideas and hone their talent.”

A few places on the course are still available. Email or call 515 2538.