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OMF Children’s Orchestra to perform at Manchester International Festival and LEEDS 2023

Young musicians from Olympias Music Foundation will take part in two performances as part of Manchester International Festival 2023 and LEEDS 2023.

The children, who have been learning instruments through OMF’s Learn to Play programme, will take to the stage this July to perform in a brand-new production of Benjamin Britten’s community opera, Noah’s Flood.

Staged by renowned classical ensemble, Manchester Collective, and community arts theatre, Slung Low, this new production will reimagine the Old Testament story of Noah’s Ark against the backdrop of the (rainy) North of England. This unique and endearing piece of work with community at its heart will be a joy and is guaranteed to attract floods of attendees, so be sure to book your tickets early!

Specifically intended by Benjamin Britten to be performed by community musicians, OMF young musicians will form the children’s orchestra in the opera – providing the musical backdrop for the story and the sound of animals, rainbows, and storms.

The production features nearly a hundred different real and imagined animals (played by a 180-strong children’s chorus from Ingram Road Primary school in Leeds) and Manchester poet, Lemn Sissay, as the ‘Voice of God’.

Adam Szabo, Artistic Director & Chief Executive, Manchester Collective said: "We're delighted to be continuing our partnership with OMF as we come together to work on this extraordinary show. Britten wrote Noah's Flood as a piece for a whole community to perofrm together, and that spirit of adventure and participation runs through this production. We can't wait to see or players performing alongside these wonderful young musicians".

Dr Jo Yee Cheung, Chief Executive, Olympias Music Foundation said: “We are thrilled that OMF young musicians have this amazing opportunity to collaborate with renowned cultural organisations and work alongside community partners in Noah’s Flood. This will be the OMF Children's Orchestra’s first outing and we are so proud to represent the musical community of Longsight at Manchester International Festival 2023 and LEEDS 2023.”

The project will culminate in two live performances of the opera – the first bringing together communities in Leeds at The Warehouse in Holbeck as part of the LEEDS 2023 year of culture programme (Friday 7 July), and the second as part of Manchester International Festival at the newly-opened and much-anticipated venue Factory International (Sunday 9 July).

Tickets for Noah’s Flood go on general sale on 30 March. To find out more and book, visit

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