Car-men have a go at opera in city

Peter WalshOperas might not be tenor-a -penny in Norwich but thousands of people have been invited to car-men enjoy some high art this summer as part of a special screening in the city.Peter Walsh

Operas might not be tenor-a -penny in Norwich but thousands of people have been invited to car-men enjoy some high art this summer as part of a special screening in the city.

Chapelfield Plain has been chosen as one of the venues to take part in the BP Summer Big Screens programme which will see The Royal Opera's Carmen beamed live from Covent Garden to big screens across the country next month.

As part of the event, which is also taking place at 14 UK venues including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Aberdeen, and Swansea, people can take part in one of the biggest sing-alongs the Royal Opera House has ever conducted.

At 6.45pm on Tuesday, June 8 Gareth Malone from the BBC's The Choir will lead the BP Summer Big Screens Carmen sing-along live from Trafalgar Square in London.

People at all 14 locations across the UK will then be able to sing The Toreador Song from Carmen and immerse themselves fully in the performance which will start at 7pm.

Families attending the event could also see their singing talents exposed to a wider audience as the Royal Opera House want people with iPhones to download the free AudioBoo application and record their own versions of the event, tag it with Carmen sing-along and post it to .

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The event fits in with the city's bid to become the first ever UK City of Culture in 2013 ahead of the other shortlisted candidates Birmingham, Sheffield and Derry/Londonderry.

Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council, who will be introducing the Norwich screening next month, said: 'It's brilliant and just goes to show the whole breadth of the cultural offer of the city and our capacity to do the things that people want us to do right across the spectrum.'

Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, said: 'The fact that we're able to relay live opera performances from Covent Garden to these big screens across the country is really exciting and, even better, it's all completely free for audiences.

'I think this gives family and friends a great opportunity to get together outdoors this summer and to experience these world-class performances. I love the unique atmosphere created in each venue - there's such an expectant air with hugely enthusiastic crowds.

'We're truly grateful for the support of both BP and the BBC which has been critical to the success of the big screens programme.'

Bizet's Carmen is packed with Spanish heat, gypsy passion and some of the most loved and memorable opera music.

In this vivid production by Francesca Zambello, Seville is brought to life with soldiers, peasants, gypsies and bullfighters - not forgetting a magnificent horse and some chickens.

Deborah Bull, creative director at the Royal Opera House, said: 'The Big Screens offer a chance for people to experience world-class performance from the Royal Opera House in relaxed and informal surroundings.'

To find out more about the City of Culture bid, or how to get involved, log onto

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