Streetwise Opera is an award-winning performing arts charity for people affected by homelessness. We run a programme of regular creative workshops in homeless centres and arts venues in five regions across England. We are also a critically-acclaimed opera company, and the people who take part in our workshops create and perform in extraordinary new productions working alongside exceptional professional artists.
We place equal emphasis on artistic excellence and social impact. Through taking part in our work, our performers improve their wellbeing and build their social networks, and we have a robust evaluation system that helps us demonstrate the difference we make.
Homelessness is dangerous, traumatising and lonely. There are many reasons people lose their homes, from rent increases and lack of affordable housing, to changes in circumstances like losing a partner or a job. The effects of being homeless are long-lasting, impacting on both mental and physical health. Streetwise Opera is a place to recover, a place to forget your problems and find an alternative identity; that of a creative person.
“Coming here is a way to mould me back to being and feeling like a human being again. When you live on the street for a long time people don’t respect you, people think it’s your fault and that you’ve put yourself in that situation but when you come here everything’s excellent…this place doesn’t judge and nobody’s better than anybody, we’re all the same.”
— Streetwise Opera performer
Our regular workshops provide a dependable source of fun and creativity for people who are often let down by society and services, while our productions offer a platform for people to share their skills and talents, redefining opera and who it is for.
We also founded With One Voice, an international movement which is building the arts and homelessness sector globally through exchanges in policy and practice. With One Voice became an independent charity in April 2019.
Explore our Get involved pages to find out how you can be part of our work, and find out more about our impact here.