Wrexham Street Songs is a three year programme delivered across the county by Welsh National Opera. Over three years, WNO has sparked the imagination of the people of Wrexham to think about opera differently, offering them a broader arts experience. The programme has brought together members of the community in writing workshops, community choirs, music composition classes and performances. To celebrate the work that WNO has carried out in Wrexham, Wrexham County Borough Council has kindly offered WNO a residency in Oriel Wrecsam. Between 12 April and 31 May 2014, the Only in Wrexham / Dim Ond yn Wrecsam exhibition will showcase the success and impact of the programme, and celebrate the projects and the people that have contributed towards its success.
Year One – Telling the stories
Year One started with a bang. WNO’s first soap opera, Nine Stories High, took to our screens which had viewers gripped by the antics of Terry & Sandra. The script was born out of writing workshops across the community and the writers were able to see their work performed all over Wrexham town centre. If you need a bit more drama in your life have a look at Nine Stories High on YouTube.
Year Two – Health and wellbeing
Year Two began with BabyO and SensoryO. In collaboration with Scottish Opera, these charming interactive pieces, gave mothers and babies a new way to bond and brought family units even closer. A further project that helped mothers in the county was BloomingVoices, a project which invited pregnant women to share emotions and their experiences with each other, to reap the benefits of singing for both mothers and babies. The mothers wrote lullabies to their children and, through support found in each other and our WNO artists, their words became songs and their songs became art; something to keep and cherish forever. Also in Year Two was the Singing Doctors project, based at Wrexham Maelor Hospital. The Singing Doctors helped patients, visitors and staff believe, as we do, in the enormous power of music and its strength to help boost health, well being and how it can bring us together, even in the most testing of times.
Year Three - Music
WNO's leading project in Wrexham for Year Three is Côr Caia Choir. Set up in April 2013 as part of an initiative to unite families and people of all ages to encourage community and friendship with the help of music, a choir was formed on the Caia Park estate - one of the largest housing estates in Europe.
Côr Caia Choir meet every week during term time at the Kingsley Circle Community Centre.
Rehearsals are geared towards having fun and growth through singing, with Musical Director Jenny Pearson getting everyone involved - whether the choir is dabbling with Take That or Jenny’s favourite song about a donkey (not forgetting all the actions). In Autumn 2013, the choir took part in workshops with composer Helen Woods and writer Peter Read to create an original anthem for Wrexham, Song for Wrexham – This Town we Love! and in Spring 2014 the choir recorded the anthem in a studio.
The Côr Caia Choir Songs for Wrexham CD can be heared at the Only in Wrexham / Dim Ond yn Wrecsam exhibition, where you can also pick up a free copy of the CD.
Only in Wrexham / Dim Ond yn Wrecsam is at Oriel Wrecsam, Rhosddu Rd, Wrexham LL11 1AU from Saturday 12 April – Saturday 31 May 2014.
Supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and WNO Community Champions.