Hammerson, the developer behind the Victoria Gate scheme, has celebrated its status as a founding Business Partner with Opera North by hosting an exclusive evening performance at the prestigious Victoria Quarter.
Artists Daisy Brown and Nick Watts, accompanied by pianist Tony Kraus, treated guests to a performance of an excerpt from L’elisir d’amore to provide a taster of what the schools participating in the Schools Matinee programme will experience. Jacqui Cameron, Education Director at Opera North, also explained the role of the Schools Matinee programme and provided a presentation on Opera North’s work in the community and its relationship with Hammerson.
Opera North Business Partners is a new membership scheme for business leaders who recognise and value the role that Opera North plays in making the North an attractive place to live, study, work and invest in. In January, Hammerson joined Opera North as a founding partner of the scheme, to support the Company’s diverse work in the community.
As the only national English opera company based outside London and with an international reputation for excellence, Opera North is a unique cultural and economic asset to Leeds and the wider Northern region. A registered charity with a ￡16m annual turnover, the Company is a significant contributor to the region’s economic and cultural wealth.
James Hepburn, development manager at Victoria Gate, said: “Opera North is playing a hugely important role in inspiring communities and younger people to appreciate opera in Leeds and beyond. This investment in the community is one that we are always looking to support, and reflects our own commitment to Leeds as a cultural city centre and local employer.
“We’re delighted to build a closer relationship with them and support the Company’s Schools Matinee performance in February.”
Jacqui Cameron, Opera North education director, said: “Young people have a much more instinctive response to opera, booing the villains and cheering the heroes, which gives our Schools Matinee performances a particularly special atmosphere.
“We are already looking forward to seeing how they react to L’elisir d’amore and are delighted that Hammerson have chosen to support us in this way, ensuring that as many Leeds school children as possible can enjoy February’s performance. With all our initiatives, we aim to increase the accessibility of opera across the community and are very grateful for Hammerson’s commitment in helping us achieve this.”