Theatre and Dance
Enid DaCoasta and Angela Harvey
Opening the doors to opera
Sixty Leeds residents were guests of honour at Opera North's performance of the lighthearted musical, Paradise Moscow at Leeds Grand Theatre.
Enid DaCoasta of Harehills and member of Chapeltown's Leeds Black Elders says: "I love to sing in my choir at church but I have never been to the theatre before. I had no idea what to expect but the theatre is absolutely beautiful.
"I watch opera on the TV but I would never have got round to seeing it live had I not been invited."
May Johnston and Joyce Pearson
For other guests it brought back former memories: "Trips to the Leeds Grand Theatre as a girl were always a treat, especially during the war" says Marjory Threlfall from Alwoodley, "Tickets cost nearly a week's pocket money! The seats were not too comfortable but the performances were always fantastic.
"I love to listen to the opera on the radio as it is extremely relaxing but nowadays I don't get to the theatre too often, which is why the trip with others members of the group was particularly enjoyable."
The guests are all members of community groups, including Chapeltown's Leeds Black Elders, St Gemma's Hospice and Moor Allerton Elderly Care. After the performance they were treated to tea and cakes in the Emerald Grand Hall and taken on a backstage tour of the newly refurbished theatre.
Staff volunteers at Yorkshire Bank, the sponsor of Opera North, joined the elderly guests. Dean Cutbill, director for Yorkshire Bank, says: "We are delighted that so many people who may not ordinarily have had the chance to go to the theatre attended the event. As the sponsor of Opera North and the Leeds Grand Theatre, we are committed to making opera and the theatre experience more accessible to local people."
last updated: 20/07/2009 at 12:59