Resonance, a programme of workshops and residencies to support artists from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, is now open for applications, Leeds-based opera company Opera North has announced.

The programme offers professional musicians and composers based in the north of England and working in any genre the opportunity to develop new ideas, to collaborate with performers from other disciplines, and to take their work in new directions.

The workshops are set to take place in spring 2021 and the company is planning for a return to face-to face collaborations, with live scratch performances in front of audiences. However, this remains subject to the rapidly changing Covid-19 situation.

Earlier this year, Opera North had to adapt the 2020 programme in line with government guidelines on social distancing. Instead of workshops in person, Resonance artists worked remotely.

The six innovative collaborations in Resonance: The Lockdown Edition included DJ NikNak and poet Khadijah Ibrahiim’s exploration of their shared Jamaican culture through audio archives and music; neo-soul singer Tawiah bringing together Ghanaian Pentecostal and classical choral traditions; and DJ and producer Balraj Samrai’s chronicle of the impact of coronavirus on people of colour in music and spoken word.

Successful applicants for this new round of residencies will receive up to a week of free rehearsal space in central Leeds in March and April 2021, a grant of up to £3,500 to cover fees and other costs, and support and advice from technicians, producers and other specialists. There are also options for a short film to document the project and a work-in-progress performance or live stream.

“We’re so excited to be opening up the next Resonance series,” Dominic Gray, director of projects at Opera North, commented. “Every year the programme reveals unexpected collaborations, leading to amazing musical and artistic works; all of them new, and all made here in Leeds during the residencies.”

To apply for a residency as part of Resonance 2021, artists should fill in the short form on Opera North’s website and submit it by 10am on Monday 19 October 2020. To qualify, the lead artist must be a professional composer, musician or music-maker from a BAME background, aged 18 years old or over and living in the north of England. For more information and an application form, see Opera North’s website.

“It’s always important to support artists and their creativity, but right now it feels more vital than ever,” Gray continued. “We can’t wait to see and hear the ideas and sounds that have been brewing while musicians have been unable to create and perform, and we look forward to sharing the results with other artists and audiences who share our passion.”



Neo-soul singer Tawiah began work on her new album as part of this summer’s Resonance: The Lockdown Edition programme (Myrrh).