I feel completely in my element

Sheila has taken part in Garsington Opera's Learning & Participation Programme which works in partnership with charity Wycombe Women's Aid, supporting women against domestic violence. She is incredibly creative and her enthusiasm for opera led to her involvement in our People's Opera, Silver Birch, in 2017. Our L&P team is currently working with the charity on a five-week project based on The Magic Flute

How did you first get involved and which projects have you most enjoyed?

I first became involved with Garsington Opera through Wycombe Women's Aid when Karen lead a group of us to do our own interpretation of Eugene Onegin in 2016. I then joined Garsington's Adult Community Chorus and was involved in Red Kite at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and also in Silver Birch on the Garsington stage. I love the warm-up sessions, composing the music to accompany the songs we write as well as learning songs from the operas, performing and dressing up. Our discussions about the opera stories with the group inspire me to write poems and allows more insight into the age-old dilemmas of the human condition.

Can you give some details about the current Magic Flute project with Wycombe Women’s Aid?

On the Magic Flute project we have written a few verses to a song and together have composed some music of our own, and are beginning to set and block the action. I have been asked to choose the costumes for our little performance we are working on and I am soooooo looking forward to getting inside Garsington's costume barn and of course perfecting our act.

What do you enjoy about working with Garsington Opera and what does it mean to you?

I feel completely in my element being creative and enjoy interacting with our group in an imaginative way. Being part of Garsington Opera's L&P programme has given me inspiration, confidence, a lot of enjoyment, satisfaction and fun. I love it!