Hello Bird, Hello Fish!

An opera for pre-school children in Sparkhill? Sounds improbable, but that’s precisely what I’ve been helping to make happen with the talented folk of B’Opera.

In my role as Co-ordinator of Art Works, the Local Arts Forum for Hall Green Constituency, I have been supporting the development of an ambitious, co-created musical project with B’Opera and The Springfield Project. We successfully applied for £10,000 of ‘Next Generation’ funding from Birmingham City Council, which has enabled the development of a new musical production.

B’Opera created ‘Hello Bird, Hello Fish!’ with and for children and their families who are users of The Springfield Project Children’s Centre, Mini Springers and Park Road nurseries. The piece was devised through a programme of participatory sessions and the work in progress was showcased at The Springfield Centre on 22nd February 2022.

It’s been great fun to help plan the project, to dream alongside staff and children, to document the work and join in with sessions as much as possible. Art Works strongly believe that everyone in our area should have access to high quality arts and culture, as well as the opportunity to express themselves creatively and have their voices heard. This really has been a wonderful example of what is possible.

It is hoped that funding will be sourced to develop the piece further and tour it around other children’s centres and community venues later in 2022. To find out more, or to contact Zoë Challenor, visit the Art Works website.

Thanks to Zoë Challenor, Jac White, Aliyah Wiggins, Sophie Williams and Phil Ypres-Smith at B’Opera as well as Sarah Robbins, Rachel Hawkesworth, Asma Ammora, Rachel Vargas and the folks at The Springfield Project who have created the magic. It’s been so joyous to be part of this and I’m so excited to see where it goes next!

Enjoy this film, shot by Paul Ullah and edited by Jac White.