Workshops / Education

Sharon is an experienced workshop facilitator/leader, having worked for many theatre and opera companies and organisations.

Currently, her profile includes:

Streetwise Opera (www.streetwiseopera.org)

She has been a workshop leader with award-winning charity Streetwise Opera since 2005, running regular workshops in London and Luton. In April 2007 , she was invited to Boston, Mass., to run a two-week residency at the Tewkesbury State Hospital, working with participants with alcohol and drug dependency, mental health issues and physical disabilities including Huntingdon’s and Parkinson’s Disease. She also ran a series of workshops in two homeless centres in central Boston.

She has also directed/devised for Streetwise including three productions at the Hat Factory, Luton. The first, in 2006, was ‘Long Road Home’ featuring folk icon Eliza Carthy and the second, ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ in October 2008, was based on Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, with original music by Thomas Gray. In 2010, again collaborating with Thomas Gray, was 'Sea Change' based on Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'.  Most recently, she directed the Opera Hour, including a world premiere commission, Riversong, at the English National Opera Studios (April 2017)

In July 2007, she was workshop leader and assistant director on Streetwise Opera’s collaboration with Almeida Opera at the Almeida Theatre. ‘Critical Mass’, was composed by Orlando Gough and directed by Emma Bernard, awarded 4 stars in The Times, The Independent and the Evening Standard and was pick of the year on BBC Radio 3.

She was workshop leader for My Secret Heart,which received its world premiere at the Royal Festival Hall in December 2008 and in December 2011 for Fables: A Film Opera, which received its world premiere at the Spitalfields Festival.  In April 2013, she was workshop leader for The Answer to Everything, another film opera/live performance piece, premiering at the BFI in London and again awarded 4 stars in the national press.  In August 2015, she was workshop leader on People Watch, which opened the Tete a Tete Festival at King's Place.

Part of the Streetwise ethos is that workshop leaders, who are all singers, actors or musicians, also perform in the productions and Sharon has therefore created roles in all these shows.

The Hub - Clwyd Theatr Cymru

In October 2012, Sharon joined The Hub, an Arts Council Wales-funded pilot project with Clwyd Theatr Cymru, which took a team of artists into two secondary schools in North Wales.  Hugely innovative, exciting and inspiring, The Hub was a great success and has since returned twice, in 2013 and 2015, with another planned for October 2015.

Southwark Splash

In July 2013, Sharon took part in Southwark Splash on Outfoxed, a new children's opera composed by Hannah Conway and directed by Karen Gillingham,  at the Royal Festival Hall.  Along with 800 children from primary schools across Southwark, she created the role of Head Human.

Music for a Generation

In January 2013, Sharon began work on another pilot project, this time for Herts Music Service - Music for a Generation, which brings together elderly and young people, using music, reminiscence and storytelling to bridge the two generations.  She now runs two workshop series' for them, one for seniors in Borehamwood and the other for a large mixed ability group in Harpenden, including physical and mental difficulties.

Royal Opera House

In November 2014, she ran her first workshop for the Royal Opera House's Family Day featuring Carmen and L'Enfant et les Sortileges, and ran another in February 2015 on Monteverdi's Orfeo.  Adults and children took part in these sessions, which featured three-headed dogs, the River Styx made out of silk and the authorised trashing of their bedrooms.

Marmalade Castle

In autumn 2014, she co-founded Marmalade Castle, a brand-new initiative set up to explore ways to take music and performance into different and unusual settings, ie: hospitals, psychiatric units, children's wards, working either in groups or as single interventions.  Marmalade Castle's first commission was to create a Christmas 'musical' over four sessions in two hospital neuro-rehab units - St George's Tooting, and Queen Mary's Roehampton.

Sharon is also a peripatetic music theatre singing teacher at St Christopher School Letchworth and has enhanced DRB status.

 
All content copyright © 2014 Sharon Eckman
Photography Jennie Scott 2014