THE region is playing host to the filming of an opera with difference this week.

Bafta-nominated director Rupert Jones is shooting an opera featuring homeless performers from Middlesbrough, Gateshead and Newcastle.

The project is a Streetwise Opera production, a charity which works with homeless people, and those who have experienced homelessness, to boost their confidence.

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The charity runs weekly workshops in 11 homeless centres around the country, including at Hope North- East, in Middlesbrough.

Carl Grieve, one of the singers who is starring as a businessman in the film, The Answer to Everything, said the project had had a life-changing impact on those taking part.

The 34-year-old, who is currently out of work, said the six other Streetwise Opera participants from Teesside had turned their lives around – some beating drug and alcohol addictions – thanks to their hobby.

The film features operatic and musical works by Vivaldi, Handel and Britten alongside commissions by composers Orlando Gough and Emily Hall.

The film will be shown around the country next year. The North-East shoot took place at St Chad’s Church, in Bensham, Gateshead.