A GROUP of homeless people are being given the chance to make positive changes to their lives by taking part in weekly opera workshops.

Streetwise Opera has been using music and performance to interact with homeless people since 2007 and today (Friday, July 18) they have been showing off their talents by singing excerpts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima).

Staff from the art gallery have joined in with the group to learn a new work by Stef Conner, Streetwise Opera’s Composer in Residence called ‘Songs Paint Worlds’.

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Matt Peacock MBE, founder of Streetwise Opera said: “We are thrilled to be running a regular workshop programme at mima. The staff have been so welcoming and we look forward to a long partnership.”

Claire Pounder, education manager at mima, said: “We’re so pleased to be continuing our partnership with Streetwise Opera. Their ethos chimes well with our work in the community, using the arts to raise aspirations, improve confidence and more. Our visitors and staff alike are enjoying hearing the uplifting workshops, and our staff are looking forward to getting more involved with the singing.”

The group also took over the Big Screen in Centre Square to show a short documentary and sections of their last two film operas, The Answer to Everything and Fables – A Film Opera.