Garsington Opera in the community

Our passion to widen access to opera is at the heart of all our education work. This is achieved through a growing and ambitious programme of high-quality creative projects targeting young people, their families and broader communities, in the immediate vicinity and further afield. We draw on our fantastic resource of highly talented directors, composers, singers, musicians and designers to inspire, build confidence and demonstrate that opera really is for everyone. Since the end of our 2014 Season we have undertaken work with our Adult Community Chorus and the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, filmed an introductory video to Così fan tutte with local primary schools, hosted a three-day residency at Cressex Community School and set the wheels in motion for our 2017 People’s Opera. Read an overview of each of the projects below or view the full 2014 report here.   [ezcol_1half] Adult Community Chorus Over 45 local adults signed up for this series two-hour workshops leading to two performances of A Nightingale Sang by John Brown, originally composed to celebrate nursing and reflect on the work of Florence Nightingale.   Primary School Film Project As part of a four-day residency, children from Stokenchurch Primary School and Lane End Primary School helped Garsington Opera Education create a short film introducing Così fan tutte. The children were encouraged to take themes from the opera in order to devise their own songs, which were then developed by other primary schools. Their insights into friendship, love and marriage were inspiring. "This was a life-changing experience for some of the children, to see that the composer really had taken their words and musical ideas to produce the final songs." Teacher, Lane End Primary   Cressex Community School Residency We have continued to build on our relationships with Cressex Community School, which has included a three-day in-depth residency. As part of this, the year 7 yeargroup (11-12 year olds) were invited to develop, stage, rehearse and perform an opera of their creation. They will then be invited to watch a live relay of Così fan tutte in the summer. [/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end] Opera and Wellbeing Using John Browne’s inspiring piece A Nightingale Sang as a starting point, patients from the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital were invited to join Garsington Opera for an uplifting singing and drama workshop linking the genre of opera with wellbeing of the mind and body. It culminated in a performance in the foyer of the NSIC. "I am a very shy person and I cannot tell you how much good doing this has done me. It has really brought me out of myself, thank you so much." Patient, Stoke Mandeville Hospital   People’s Opera Following on from the very successful Community Opera mounted in 2013 – Road Rage, composer Orlando Gough, librettist Richard Stilgoe – Garsington Opera is proposing to continue its engagement with the local community by staging another large-scale community piece in 2017. Linking poet and writer Siegfried Sassoon; Lady Ottoline Morrell, former owner of Garsington Manor; and present day experiences together, this will be an original story bringing modern day themes and issues to the forefront. It will be performed on Garsington Opera’s main stage in August, as part of the 2017 season. [/ezcol_1half_end]