1,700 young performers on stage at the Grand Opera House

Pictured at rehearsals (L-R) are Nathan Johnston, Lara Mulgrew, Louis Fitzpatrick and Ian Wilson, Grand Opera House. (From ACNI bulletin)

Over 1,700 young people have taken part in the Grand Opera House’s Summer Youth Project since it began in 2011.  This summer, for the first time, the Grand Opera House will present not one but two large-scale productions – Bugsy Malone, starring 150 local 10-18 year olds, and Miss Saigon® School Edition, with a cast of 80 talented young people aged 16-18, supported by Phoenix Natural Gas and National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Now in its ninth year, the Grand Opera House Summer Youth Production gives young aspiring singers, actors, and dancers the opportunity to perform in front of thousands of people on the iconic Grand Opera House stage, following in the footsteps of stars including Laurel and Hardy, Luciano Pavarotti and Darcey Bussell.

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented,

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is committed to supporting opportunities for our young people to access and participate in high quality arts.  The Grand Opera House excels at offering such opportunities through their impressive, Summer Youth Programme and I would encourage everyone to go along and enjoy what promises to be two terrific performances.”

Michael McKinstry, Phoenix Natural Gas, Chief Executive Officer said,

“We are delighted to partner with the Grand Opera House on the Summer Youth Productions and give young people from across Northern Ireland a valuable opportunity to develop their skills and take centre stage in a professional production.

“Last year more than 200 aspiring actors and young people got their break into the creative industry through the Summer Production programme and we’re proud to play our part in helping them access a platform where they can learn, perform and showcase their potential.”

Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House, added,

“Everyone at the Grand Opera House is extremely proud of the Summer Youth Productions. These shows give young people invaluable opportunities to work with a professional creative team and our vastly experienced technical crew, making new friends and having great fun at the same time.

“I am delighted that Phoenix Natural Gas is supporting the Summer Youth Productions once again this year. We look forward to staging the biggest and most ambitious productions ever in July and August.”

Catch the shows, Miss Saigon® School Edition, from 18-21 July, and Bugsy Malone, from 1-3 August.  For tickets visit www.goh.co.uk

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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.