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Singing Our Lives: refugees and immigrants in the UK given voice in a new song cycle

29 June, 2017 — By Sebastian Taylor

Members of Mixed Up Chorus who co-commissioned the new work with Three Faiths Forum

The world premiere of a new song cycle, Singing Our Lives, about migrants and refugees is being given at Milton Court, Barbican, this Sunday (July 2).
The new piece was commissioned by inter-faith organisation Three Faiths Forum, based in Kentish Town, and its inter-cultural choir, the Mixed-Up Chorus .

Composer Mike Roberts and librettist Sarah George put the piece together after collaboration with several community groups. These include parents and children from Rhyl Primary School, Camden Town, many of whom are immigrants or refugees.

Also participating in workshops were clients of Freedom from Torture and the Islington Refugee Forum. Musically, the piece seeks to give voice to the real-life stories and experiences of refugees and immigrants in the UK.

Singing in the concert are the Mixed-up Chorus, parents and children of Rhyl Street School and the Sing for Freedom Choir.

Also being premiered at Sunday’s concert is Finding Home which uses birds as a metaphor for the harrowing journey of migrants. The piece was written by composer John Barber and librettist Hazel Gould. It was commissioned by the Royal Opera House and is being sung by the ROH Thurrock Community Chorus.

Support for the commissioning of the two song cycles came from Voluntary Action Camden; Camden Music Services; the Royal Opera House; the Migration Museum project; and IOM UK, the UN Migration agency.

Concert proceeds are to be shared between Freedom from Torture and IOM UK’s refugee resettlement activities.

• Milton Court, Barbican, Silk Street, EC2, Sunday July 2, 6pm, free

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