Yorkshire Bank has today (July 18th) partnered with Opera North to offer England’s Barmy Army singing lessons, ahead of the opening day of the npower Test Match between England and South Africa. England’s unofficial twelfth was England and Surrey legend Graham Thorpe, who became an honorary member of the Barmy Army for just one day.
The Barmy Army was taught a range of opera singing tips and breathing exercises by professional opera singers from Opera North, England's national opera company based in Leeds, to ensure that “Jerusalem” was sung with greater depth and volume than ever before.
Graham Thorpe said: “I remember how the Barmy Army can inspire the team to victory from my playing days. They are widely respected as the best fans in world cricket. I think it’s fantastic that Yorkshire Bank, as sponsors of Opera North, have commissioned these lessons for the guys in the Barmy Army to make sure their singing is up to the high standards they set themselves”.
Paul Burnham, co-founder of The Barmy Army, added: “We’ve always given singing our best shot, but we are the first to admit that we are more try-hard than highly skilled. We have been told on numerous occasions by the England team about the difference we make, and I’m certain our new found singing skills will inspire the lads to victory!”
Gary Lumby, Head of Retail Banking at Yorkshire Bank, said: “As sponsors of Opera North, we have pledged to help bring opera to as broad an audience as possible. By working with the experts at Opera North to teach the Barmy Army how to make the most of their enthusiasm for singing, we will definitely be taking opera to the people of Headingley – and to cricket fans across the world.”