ONE of the world’s leading opera singers has opened a new centre for music education at an historic North-East venue.

Sir Thomas Allen, who hails from Seaham, was back in County Durham to open St Hilda’s at Ushaw, near Durham.

The dedicated space, which will be used for music tuition as well as a spiritual retreat, is located in a former infirmary.

Durham Music Service Training Choir sang, and visitors were then invited to explore the building, including the reproduction of a period classroom.

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