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Homeless sing at Royal Opera House

Thursday, Jul 05, 2012 - 02:02

Jul. 6 - The homeless take centre stage at the Royal Opera House for the Olympics. Cindy Martin reports.

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Some people wait a lifetime for an opportunity like this. Centre stage, the Royal Opera House. 300 people who are or who have been homeless were given a chance to sing at the famous venue's Floral Hall. The event on Monday (July 2) "With One Voice" is part of the Olympic celebrations and the 2012 London Festival. It marked the first time members of the homeless community were part of an Olympic Games. Streetwise Opera, an organisation that bridges the seemingly contrasting worlds of homelessness and opera, was started by Matthew Peacock. SOUNDBITE: Matthew Peacock, Founder of Streetwise Opera, saying: "Well, the danger is that homeless people get overlooked in an event like this and in the worst case, in the past, we've seen homeless people moved off the streets to make way for the Olympics." Royal Opera House CEO Tony Hall says he's been blown away by some of the performers. SOUNDBITE: Royal Opera House Chief Executive Officer Tony Hall, saying (English): "When you see what these people are doing, and of course they've come from all over the world so it's really Olympian in that sounds, when you see what they can do, you realise what amazing power and creativity and zest they have in all the things they're doing." Performer Drew Foster, who's battled and overcome alcohol addiction, says the opportunity means more to him than just singing. SOUNDBITE: Performer with Streetwise Opera, Drew Foster, saying (English): "It's given us a massive amount of self esteem. It's given us a massive sense of pride. It's given us a huge sense of hope that anything is possible. Three years ago, before I joined Streetwise, I'd virtually given up on life. I never thought I'd see theatres like this." Peacock says giving the homeless a chance could be exactly what they need to keep them from sleeping rough again on the streets. Cindy Martin, Reuters

Homeless sing at Royal Opera House

Thursday, Jul 05, 2012 - 02:02

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