The Magic Flute (2018)
Our work with primary schools in 2018 continued to focus on facilitating the youngest generations to discover the world of opera. We were delighted to continue our longstanding partnerships with several local schools: Millbrook Combined School, Lane End Primary, Chalgrove Community Primary, Stokenchurch Primary, Frieth CE Combined School, Ibstone CE Infant School and Holy Trinity CE (A) School Marlow. Led by director Karen Gillingham and composer John Barber, the schools devised and created a mini-opera based on The Magic Flute, which led to a sharing performance entitled The Big Sing, featuring 180 children and three professional singers on the main stage at Wormsley.
Our work with secondary schools involves intensive residencies over two to three days. Pupils study the oepra's themes from the focus opera, learn some of the repertoire, devise their own material and hear a professional singer perform. We work with groups of up to 50 students of mixed ages, who form a company to create their own mini opera.
In March 2018 we collaborated with Cressex Community School for the sixth consecutive year, in July 2018 we worked with singers and instrumentalists at The Misbourne School and we are developing new links with secondary schools through Buckinghamshire Music Trust.
On 18 July 2018 all the primary and secondary students were invited to Wormsley to attend a schools' performance of Die Zauberflöte, featuring our Alvarez Young Artists and full orchestra. The event started with a 30-minute introductory talk and warm-up with Karen Gillingham in which she gave the audience a glimpse behind the scenes, introducing music staff, singers and members of the stage management and wardrobe teams.
Thank you for giving our children such a wonderful, life-changing experience. The Garsington Factor emanates from your incredible team.
Primary teacher, Ibstone CE School
I loved that we were able to go and see the opera after making it our own.
Secondary pupil, Cressex School
What is going on at Garsington is the absolute ideal of how an opera company should be working with its local community. The highest musical standards coupled with fun, joy and real long-term commitment.
John Barber, Composer