Resonance, Opera North’s project to support UK-based Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) musicians and composers, has been adapted in response to the Covid-19 crisis, the Leeds-based opera company has revealed.

The new ‘Lockdown Edition’ of the successful programme forms part of Opera North’s plans to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on artists and the making of music. It will aim to support UK-based BAME music-makers in exploring new ideas and ways of collaborating with other artists in these uniquely challenging circumstances.

“One of the great strengths of Resonance has always been its adaptability to the processes and needs of a very diverse cohort of artists,” commented Opera North’s Head of Projects Jo Nockels. “With restrictions on movement and gathering now in place, we want to see the programme evolve even further to take account of new ways to collaborate, which might not have been possible previously due to constraints on time and availability.”

The company is seeking applications from professional UK-based music-creators from BAME backgrounds working in any genre. Five successful lead artists will each receive a grant of up to £800 to cover fees for themselves and collaborators for 2-2.5 days’ work, as well as small equipment purchases. Project management and support to access other resources, funding and assistance will also be provided to underpin the work and to enable development to continue following participation in the programme.

Applicants are invited to provide a brief outline of their proposal, including any potential collaborators, and to explain why this opportunity will enhance their professional practice or enable them to pursue a new creative idea. All projects must be achievable under current social distancing and travel regulations, but in common with previous instalments of Resonance – which have featured hip hop, soul, Afrobeat, Indian classical music and traditional Arabic song – no restrictions are placed on artistic ambition or musical genre.

Nockels added: “Perhaps there is someone you have always wanted to collaborate with and never been able to. Maybe there is a very different musical style that you would like to explore with another musician. Or is there a musical skill you would like to add to your range – anything from notation to playing technique?”

To be eligible for Resonance: The Lockdown Edition, applicants must be UK-based professional composers or music-creators aged 18 or over who are not in full-time education. To apply, fill in this short form and submit it by 10 am on Friday 8 May 2020. If you have any queries or would like to discuss your application, email Jo Nockels.



Singer-songwriter Nishla Smith’s song cycle What Happened to Agnes, developed during last year’s workshops, completed a national tour just before lockdown began.