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Share the Stage: A Child of Our Time

Want to perform on the world-famous main stage at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music? Imagine singing or playing alongside some of the North East’s most dazzling musicians. 

On Sunday 24 November 2024, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia are performing Michael Tippett’s choral masterpiece A Child of Our Time in Sage One. You could be too.

We’re looking for non-professional musicians from across the North East to play with the orchestra and sing with the chorus in one of the biggest performing groups the region will have ever seen. Get ready for a joyful celebration of the power and humanity of great classical music.

Let us know you're interested in being part of Share the Stage

A Child of Our Time

Share the Stage is based around Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, a deeply moving work for orchestra and chorus that encourages different communities to understand one another more deeply.

A Child of Our Time was written in the early 1940s by British composer Michael Tippett (1905 – 1998). He started it on the day the second world war was declared in September 1939, influenced by his strong political and social beliefs. Brimming with passion and emotion, it rages against oppression and violence and hopes for forgiveness and peace.

Musically, think a 20th century take on Handel’s Messiah. Tippett follows the same three-part structure and uses a lot of traditional classical techniques but with a more modern sound. He also draws inspiration from folk and spiritual music with arrangements of five African-American spirituals – Steal Away, Nobody Knows the Trouble I See, O By and By, Go Down Moses, Deep River – interwoven among his original text and music.

For a deeper dive into the creation and concept of A Child of Our Time, check out this article from the LA Philharmonic.

Get a feel for the music

Here’s one of the five African-American spirituals featured in A Child of Our Time, ‘Go down, Moses’, performed by Berlin Philharmonic and Rundfunkchor Berlin.

Sing with Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia

Made up of over 80 singers from all walks of life, Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia are one of the most exciting choirs in the region. They’ve got an awards shelf to prove it.

If you’re over 18 and love singing, we want to hear from you. Whether it’ll be your first ever public performance or your 100th, you’re welcome. Enjoyment and enthusiasm are the most important things.

Weekly rehearsals will start in September, led by chorus director Tim Burke. There will be two rehearsal groups: one for confident sheet music readers and one for those who learn better by ear. You’ll be asked what you prefer when you sign up.

In the last few weeks before the concert, all performers – chorus, orchestra and soloists – will come together with Royal Northern Sinfonia’s principal conductor Dinis Sousa to get ready for the big day on Sunday 24 November.

Meet Tim Burke, Chorus Director


‘You’ll be welcomed. You’ll be nurtured. You’ll be cared for. You’ll be supported by people either side of you. Whatever bits you don’t know they will. Time is short, just do it!’ – Peter (The People’s Requiem)

It October 2021 we opened our doors and our stage for The People’s Requiem. The event brought together hundreds of performers after the global pandemic to mark loss and suffering with a powerful performance of Verdi’s Requiem. We immediately knew we wanted to do it again. 

If you choose to share the stage with us this year, you’ll be part of an event to remember. You’ll learn an amazing piece of music.  You’ll work with some of the best classical musicians and conductors in the business. You’ll meet new people and connect with a vibrant creative community. And it’s a scientific fact that music-making is good for your body and your mind, so you’ll even be taking care of your wellbeing.

Step into their shoes

Find our what it’s like to share the stage from those who’ve done it. Over 300 people performed The People’s Requiem in October 2021, here’s what some of them said about their experience.

Let us know you're interested in being part of Share the Stage