Barefoot Opera is developing on an ambitious new ‘people’s opera’ called A Town. It is based on the lives and stories of people living on the South Coast in the here and now. Richard Lewis reports

Barefoot Opera’s Clash! Brought 7 local choirs together for ROOT 1066 in 2016
PICTURE: Chris Parker

Hundreds of people have already signed up for more than 25 workshops with a wide range of local groups, choirs and other organisations, pop-up sessions in pubs and cafes in Hastings, St. Leonards and Bexhill, as well as free, open to all workshops during March/April 2018.

Some workshops will focus on singing, others on discussion and points-of-view.

Jenny Miller, of Barefoot Opera, said, “The project has been really taking-off. There are so many workshops taking place with lots of interesting groups. All kinds of people are involved…from children to dog-walkers to singers in choirs…all ages…”

What’s it like living in a South Coast town?
What makes your town tick?
Got a story to tell?

Barefoot is working with a team of musicians, composers and writers, and they’re looking for people in the Hastings and Rother area who want to take part in the first stage of the project. In particular, Barefoot is encouraging local people to come along to their discussion workshops, taking place at Grand Rue de Pera cafe and the De La Warr Pavilion studio, to talk about their lives in a coastal town, so if you’ve got a story to tell or if you want to have your say in what it’s like to live in a South-Coast town today, then get involved!

Jenny added “This is the last chance to be part of this initial phase…the workshops will be great fun and very stimulating…and you never know…your story might end up being part of the opera!”

Everyone who goes to a workshop will also be invited to a free big get-together at the De La Warr Pavilion on 22nd April, where a series of ‘one minute operas’ will be tried out.

Find out more about how to take part in this exciting new project, or sign-up and reserve your place for a workshop at Page-down to find a long and exciting list of free workshops, times, dates and venues from 31stMarch to 25thApril 2018

Join the Facebook page: ‘A Town That Sings,’ to keep in touch and get involved, share photos and videos, and to find out more about the pop-up sessions taking place near you.


We hope you have enjoyed reading this article from Hastings Independent. The future of this volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.