Foyle Opera is a non-profit community opera organisation, founded in Derry in September 2016. Our activities are centred around the production and performance of opera in both full theatre productions and in smaller concert productions.
The idea behind our operation is that productions are led by an experienced creative team and feature a professional principal cast and orchestra, but that the majority of participants, the membership of the organisation, is from the community.
Our membership is primarily the chorus of Foyle Opera, which meets weekly to sing together, under the direction of artistic director and chorus mistress, Ann Jennings. They receive vocal coaching and training in the repertoire for the production. To maximise engagement of local residents, we have no requirement for classical music training.
These singers also manage and produce the opera, in particular contributing to elements of the staging such as set design and construction, costuming and properties. This also provides a way for those who don’t wish to sing to contribute and to be involved.
Our aims as an organisation are to stage opera and operettas in the Foyle Area, particularly in Derry; to engage the wider community in opera as performers, producers and as audience members; and to provide a platform to educate local communities about opera through active participation.
We aim to provide a forum for our membership and volunteer base to develop their own skills, not only as singers and musicians, as actors and dancers, but also in set building, painting, sewing, costuming and also in management, so that involvement in our productions is a unique creative and social experience for everyone regardless of their background and skills.