YOUNG people are set to perform a song inspired by the beauty and history of the River Skerne.

Pupils from Haughton Academy, in Darlington, helped come up the Song of the Skerne, which will be performed with the Opera North orchestra and Durham Music Youth Choir at Darlington Hippodrome this Sunday.

The song was created as part of a project held over the last year.

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Becky West, regional producer North for Orchestras Live, said: “It’s going to be a special moment when we finally get to hear this piece performed in front of a live audience by the young people alongside the Orchestra of Opera North.

" It will definitely be an emotional occasion for all concerned after all the challenges we overcame due to the pandemic. It is testament to the dedication and flexibility of the team and the participants that we were able to move this project online and create a moving piece of music, and we hope that the audience on Sunday will enjoy the result.”

Jacqui Cameron, education director for Opera North, said: “It is particularly fitting that the live premiere of the Song of the Skerne is taking place at the same time as COP26 when we are all being encouraged to reflect on, and learn to value, the environment around us.

"This project was designed with a similar objective while also enabling the pupils to engage creatively with musical composition and performance.”

It was a collaboration between Orchestras Live, Darlington Hippodrome, Discover Brightwater, Durham Music Service and Opera North.

All the students’ ideas were woven together by Sarah Freestone and orchestrated for a 21-piece ensemble from the orchestra of Opera North.

The concert starts at 4pm on Sunday, November 7 as part of an afternoon of operatic favourites conducted by Oliver Rundell and including repertoire from Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Rossini and Sullivan.

The afternoon will also feature performances from British Irish soprano Alison Langer and British tenor Alex Banfield. Tickets are available online.

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