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March 3-5 2023


A new opera for teen and young adult audiences

‘Nobody/Somebody’ is an exciting and powerful new opera created by composer Neil Martin and playwright Fionnuala Kennedy for teens and young adults. This opera will be performed by the Ulster Youth Orchestra, with youth counterparts working with every member of the creative team.

The opera is inspired and informed by the activism of the teens and young adults of the Participation and the Practice of Rights (PPR) organisation in Belfast and their ongoing ‘Take Back the City’ campaign.

‘Nobody/Somebody’ tells the story of three young people who come together to  campaign for better housing and living conditions. Each of these teens and young adults is experiencing a different type of housing stress or homelessness. They are encouraged and supported to take action and to try to engage the local politicians and councillors in building more social housing by a supportive adult member of the campaigning group. She has herself experienced homelessness as a young person and supports them in their fight.

Will the politicians listen?  Will the young people’s voices be heard?  Join us on their campaign and find out what it takes, what it can cost and where the story ends…

‘Nobody/Somebody’ will receive its world premiere at the Belfast Children’s Festival in March 2023, with a fully staged production in the Elmwood Hall, Belfast.

We are working with Springboard, a youth charity based in Belfast, to identify young people who will undertake paid roles with our creative team to bring this story to life.  Throughout the commission process, we’ve been communicating and collaborating with the Belfast-based organisation PPR (Participation and the Practice of Rights), whose activism and campaigns inspired Fionnuala Kennedy to write the libretto for this exciting new commission.

An educational workshop programme will be available to accompany this new opera and there are school, youth and community group rates.

There will be short Q and A sessions with members of the creative teams after both the evening performances – please feel free to stay and ask any questions about the performance or the inspiration for the opera.

Find out more about this new commission by clicking here.

Find out more about ‘Springboard’ by clicking here.

Find out all about PPR’s ‘Take Back the City’ campaign by clicking here.

Latest news on the Mackies campaign by PPR here.

Visit the Ulster Youth Orchestra’s website by clicking here.

Listen to librettist Fionnuala Kennedy talking about the project on ‘The Ticket’ on BBC Radio Ulster here.


'As compassionate as it was angry, it was a vital demonstration of opera’s capacity to be bitingly relevant.'

Top Ten NI Shows 2023 in British Theatre Guide


Sinéad O'Kelly

Dan D'Souza

David Corr

Stephanie Wake-Edwards

Party Leader
Harry Lambert

Emily Hodkinson

Chorus - Soprano
Marcella Walsh

Chorus -Soprano
Petra Wells

Chorus - Mezzo Soprano
Erin Kennedy

Chorus - Mezzo Soprano
Emily Hodkinson

Chorus - Tenor
Charlie Clarke-Hughes

Chorus - Tenor
Harry Lambert

Chorus - Baritone
Seamus Brady

Chorus - Baritone
Paul McQuillan

Creative Team

Fionnuala Kennedy

Neil Martin

Andrea Ferran

Youth Counterpart Director
Keavy Bell

Music Director
Matthew Quinn

Tristan Russcher

Movement Director
Sean O'Neill

Youth Counterpart Movement Director
Óran Clarke

Hair and Make-up Designer
Connie McGrath

Youth Counterpart Hair and Make-Up Designer
Beckie Gamble

Lighting Designer
Alan Mooney

Jeanette Tumelty

Youth Counterpart Costume
Olivia Armstrong

Caolan Keaveney

Youth Counterpart Producer
Niki Browne

Stage Manager
Emily Danby

Performance Partners