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Liverpool woman brings the ‘magical world of opera’ to young people with half-term Boot Camp

Liverpool woman brings the ‘magical world of opera’ to young people with half-term Boot Camp
Rachel Harland (Photo: Stephanie de Leng)

A singer and musician from Liverpool is holding a ‘Youth Opera Boot Camp’ in the city this half-term, looking to inspire a new generation of artists and make vocal and theatre training accessible to everyone.

Rachel Harland is creative director of RHOK Create, as part of which she runs RHOK Show, directing singing groups, workshops and pop up events. Her aim with the boot camp is to introduce what she calls ‘the magical world of opera’ to young people in the Liverpool City Region.

The five-day programme is designed to be an enjoyable and stimulating experience, involving various elements of preparing for a performance, which then helps the children develop transferable skills such as team building, cooperation and self discipline.

Speaking about the boot camp and her own musical journey in Liverpool, Rachel said: “So many elements go into singing on stage: voice training; musicianship; stage craft; creative imagination; movement and language, to name but a few. We incorporate all of these skills in our five-day Youth Opera Boot Camp, which leads to a public performance on the final day.

As a child growing up in Liverpool in the 80s and 90s, I benefited from a thriving Liverpool music support service. In the current climate, I am acutely aware of the cut backs in music for young people across the board. Having returned to the city after nearly 20 years, I am extremely passionate about sharing the skills and knowledge I’ve picked up during my time studying, performing and teaching around the world. I know how transformative having a musical focus in your life can be.”

Anyone between the ages of 11 and 18 looking to build their confidence and skills, as well as forge new friendships, is welcome to join the Boot Camp and no specific skills or previous experience is required. 

Rachel also runs RHOK Crêpes in the city – a food van stationed at the University of Liverpool that has fostered a loyal following over the last year – alongside her partner Roland Keogh.

“Our aim is to self finance our cultural interests of art and music, through our passion for food and creative education.” Rachel added. “RHOK Create’s vision is to make culture more accessible to more people.”

The Youth Opera Boot Camp will take place at Belvedere Academy in Liverpool, L8 3TF from 12th to 16th February. Places can be booked for £150 for all 5 days with a £50 sibling discount. For more information and to book your child’s place, head to rachelharland.net/youthoperabootcamp or call Rachel on 07540 740107.

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Ally Goodman

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