Streetwise Opera is seeking Tyneside love letters from the last 100 years to be immortalised in an exciting new opera.

All letters will be embedded into the design for the opera, which explores a century of love in Tyneside. Some letters will also be used to inspire the music and stories of the show.

The opera is the result of a year-long collaboration between Streetwise Opera, the award-winning national charity that uses music to help people make positive changes in their lives, and local organisations Tyne & Wear Archives & MuseumsSage GatesheadRoyal Northern SinfoniaChanging Lives and ReCoCo.

Anyone who has a love letter that was written in Tyneside, sent to someone in Tyneside, or is in some way connected to the Tyneside area, is invited to submit it to Streetwise Opera. Letters can be happy or sad, humorous or serious, from 1917 up to the present day.

Streetwise Opera is interested in letters in the widest sense – including hand-written or typed letters, emails, postcards and text messages. Love is meant in the broadest sense too, to include: romantic love, whether gay or straight, traditional or modern; love about local industry e.g. the shipyards; love between parents and children; stories of loss; love for local culture/sport e.g. Newcastle United; infidelity; crimes of passion; and love with people overseas.

The final opera, with designs and storylines inspired by the submitted love letters, will be performed at Sage Gateshead in April 2018. Music will include Benjamin Britten’s Cabaret Songs, with words by W.H. Auden, alongside a range of other repertoire.

The show will be performed in Sage Gateshead’s Sage Two by Streetwise Opera’s performers and Royal Northern Sinfonia. The show’s set will also be featured in a special local exhibition in 2018.

Letters should be submitted to love@streetwiseopera.org by midnight on 28 August 2017. Alternatively, they can be posted to Streetwise Opera, 26 Red Lion Square WC1R 4AG (please don’t send originals as they cannot be returned). Submissions should include a contact name and telephone number and the year the letter was written.

For more information, visit streetwiseopera.org/loveletters or call 020 7730 9551.

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