Salford University lecturer composes Yorkshire Opera

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A Salford University lecturer has composed an opera using Yorkshire inspired dialect.

Alan Williams, a lecturer at Salford University for the past 22 years, has composed a piece of opera inspired by Yorkshire’s mining history.

Williams said; “The inspiration came from wanting to work with Ian McMillan.”

The pair have been back and forth composing the piece that tells the story of the Yorkshire mining community.

The premiere for The Arsonist took place on Saturday 18th November at Salford Universities New Adelphi Building

The ‘Yorkshire Opera’ was a success and the 2 hour production went well for audience and cast.

At first it was hard finding a company wanting to help but when Heritage Opera came along to work alongside the production the idea was sealed.

In an interview with Williams he says that this has been something he has wanted to do for a while and was happy to be working alongside Ian McMillan.

“I have never really been apart of the (opera) worlds but opera combines the best bits of music, the best bits of theater.”

The Arsonist was met with a great turnout, as dozens of keen admirers attended the first showing.

As ongoing production of the opera became increasingly more active, reaching news networks such as the BBC and channel 4, the coverage of the production was regarded ‘brilliant’ by Williams.

Williams had his first experience composing an opera back in 2012 when he co-wrote a production that took place at MediaCityUK.

Heritage Opera are a Manchester based company, whose knowledge of the lack of Northern opera intrigued them to take part in the production.

Williams and McMillan were eager to retweet those that shared the experience of their night of Northern Opera.

After the success of the show and the country wide press coverage, this could just be the beginning for Williams.

The piece is considered a “work in progress” by Williams who says there has already been huge cuts made to the piece.

He said: “We should have maybe sorted more opportunities out for students to contribute”.

The professional standard of the equipment at Salford University has made the production possible.

For any news on performances you can check heritageopera.co.uk or alternatively www.thearsonistsopera.com for tickets and information

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