English Touring Opera’s first ever broadcast premiered with a communal listening experience on Easter Sunday. The film was part of their commitment to keeping music in the lives of people across the country, having been forced to cancel the 52 remaining performances of its Spring tour due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The footage was taken from a live performance at the Hackney Empire in March 2020 and supplemented by 90 video contributions made by professional and amateur musicians in isolation from Cumbria to Cornwall. Over 11,000 people internationally have watched the performance and the responses show that many people have been inspired to pick up old instruments again whilst in isolation and to join local choirs when restrictions ease.
Due to the strength of feeling, English Touring Opera has agreed permissions with the artists involved to extend the availability of the broadcast until Sunday 10 May.
The company is also set to release more digital content in the coming weeks on its YouTube channel, including other performances; interactive insight talks and discussions; skills sharing films made by members of the orchestra, singing lessons for children and adults; and interactive sessions for people with special educational needs. These projects, along with the extended access to the St John Passion broadcast, will allow ETO to stay connected until they can tour again.
Though pleased to be keeping music in the lives of so many at such a challenging time, English Touring Opera is excited at the prospect of resuming its mission to bring high quality live opera to theatres across the country and is busy preparing its Autumn 2020 season and 2021 productions.
You can watch the St John Passion and subscribe to ETO’s YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/user/ETO5254 or join ETO’s mailing list to stay updated at englishtourignopera.org.uk.