A PROFESSIONAL opera singer is hoping to recruit youngsters from the borough to perform at prestigious sporting events.

Tenor Sean Ruane, who lives in Bacup, is creative director of CHANT Productions, which for the past 18 months has turned young people in schools and youth groups into choirs.

The choirs go on to perform at high-profile fixtures such as the Rugby League World Cup last year, England cricket oneday internationals at Old Trafford and BBC’s Children in Need.

Sean now wants CHANT to establish its own 150-strong choir—and has set up home at The Met theatre in Bury because of its proximity to the Edwin Street recording studio.

This summer’s fixtures include international and county cricket, Challenge Cup rugby league matches, Manchester City and Bury FC games and September’s Ramsbottom Music Festival.

Sean said: “Sports grounds are the new theatres for young people. I get a real buzz out of seeing their reactions on the day when they walk out into a huge stadium.

“They can’t believe they are standing there. It is lifechanging, phenomenal — it makes me feel humble.

“We educate children through the songs they love to sing and teach them how to sing in a healthy way. We show them there is no difference between different types of music.

“We say if you love singing Let It Go from the Disney film Frozen, you might like to try this song called Jerusalem – and by the way you’re going to be doing it at the Rugby League World Cup.

“Recently choirs have sung Happy by Pharrell Williams and Rather Be by Clean Bandit, alongside Jerusalem and national anthems.

“I believe singing is a sport — you need teamwork, application and dedication.

Individual competition is being withdrawn in schools, but this is a way of showing children they can compete together and achieve a better result.”

Sean, who still performs regularly, has been bringing the theatre of opera to elite international sporting events for the past 10 years and has produced music for The Ashes.

He added: “We are not just looking for the best of the best.

If you have dedication and apply yourself, we will help you to sing to the best of your ability.”

● CHANT’s weekly workshops, aimed at children and young people aged nine into their early 20s, begin at The Met on Monday, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, and cost £5 per session.

To register: call 0161 797 0923 or 07528 665 977 or e-mail info@chantproductions.co.uk For more information: go to chantproductions.co.uk