BBC NE & Cumbria
Costing over £15m, and with a design controversially described as a giant glass armadillo, The Sage Gateshead sits proudly on the banks of the Tyne.
Under its vast glass canopy, over 400 performances will take place every year in its two concert halls, and thousands of people will flood through its doors. As the Sage opened in 2003, True North was there to chart the dramatic achievement, and to meet the people preparing to use it. This is the story of an extraordinary building and the people who play in it.
We follow four very different characters as they prepare for the opening of the Sage. Catherine Tickell, a renowned pipe player and music teacher believes the Sage ensures Newcastle Gateshead’s Quayside rivals the likes of Bilbao’s Guggenheim as a cultural hub.
Matthew Dean, flutist, pianist and tin whistle player, is determined to undertake a degree in folk music at the Sage, and dreams of becoming a professional musician.
Rapper Muti Rahman and his band Exile are part of the Sage’s plans to include all types of music in their programmes. We follow the band as they’re faced with just one week of rehearsals to get ready for the opening of the Sage.
And Bradley Creswick is leader and first violinist of the Northern Symphonia. The Sage was the band’s first ever permanent home, and Bradley himself became one of the mascots for the opening night.
The Sage Gateshead: A Celebration charts the lives of these four very different musicians as they come together under the vast roof of Gateshead’s most important new cultural project in years.