We have recently invited primary and infant schools that we have worked with over the past two years to nominate groups from their school to participate in our Community Opera in 2013. The three succesful schools will benefit from weekly music and drama workshops led by the director and vocal animateur of the Community Opera from March to July 2012.
More details to be announced later this term.
La Périchole workshops
As part of our aim to develop relationships with more secondary schools, workshops based on La Périchole took place in Wycombe High, Sir William Borlase and The Missbourne Schools during spring 2012.
Working with director Karen Gillingham and composer/music animateur Richard Taylor, students explored the story, themes and music of Offenbach’s opera, composing and staging their original arias and chorus alongside Garsington Opera singers. Each group then visited the opera site to watch a rehearsal of La Périchole and meet the creative team behind the performance.
“What a fantastic day you gave the girls… the fact that they were ‘with you’ right up to the very end was a fantastic tribute to your enthusiasm, skill, talent and love of what you all do.” Sheila Cornell, Director of Music, Wycombe High School
Heart in a Box
an original, commissioned opera
In autumn 2011, a team of 10 artists worked with over 60 students and staff at Icknield Community College to create and perform an opera for an audience of primary school children. The aim was to give an insight into staging a professional production and provide skills and techniques to support their creative arts studies.
The students explored and responded to the themes of Vivaldi’s opera L’Olimpiade. The resulting text, music and designs were then woven together by composers Hannah Conway and Eugene Skeef to create a fairytale version of the opera appropriate for its young audience.
Heart in a Box involved a cast of 50 teenagers and two professional opera singers. The score included several numbers that were taught to, and performed by, the primary school children.
“Working with Garsington Opera was honestly the best experience of my life; everyone in the team was friendly, talented, charismatic and incredibly inspirational.” Heart in a Box Student Cast Member
“I and they thought the performance was fab! I was particularly taken by the way some of our pupils got extra roles on the day – and they loved it!” Jo Prince, Class Teacher, Lewknor Primary School.
This project was so successful, it is currently being repeated in Louth, Lincolnshire, in partnership with East Lindsey District Council (September to November 2012).