Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Shoulder to Shoulder: the first opera about sheds

Swansea City Opera has been working with Men’s Sheds Cymru to produce the world's first opera about sheds. The new work - Shoulder to Shoulder - is still at the development stage but already around a quarter of an hour of music by composer Caradog Williams has been finished, a duet between a daughter and her father before he joins a shed, and a rap by three men working in a shed (see below).

The opera company has a strong history of community involvement and did its research properly, visiting numerous Men's Sheds in Wales and talking to members to guide the storyline - written by Brendan Wheatley - which takes an honest look at the issues that members have faced but also the comradeship which the sheds projects offer. Here's what Men's Sheds Cymruu project manager Robert Visitainer said:

They have been able to meet 'shedders' in person (when it was permissible under Covid-19 rules) each visit they spent time meeting the shed members, quickly putting them at ease and really encouraging them to take part and tell their stories. Brendan took time explaining the project, what they were looking for and plans for the piece. Most importantly the whole process was fun and creative. We're looking forward to doing more together.

To follow up this great start, they are now looking for more funding to finish the work this year and are working towards an August 11 concert date at the Acapela studios in Pentyrch. Anybody interested in taking part or telling their story is very welcome to get in touch with the opera company.

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