The children really enjoyed it...it's great that we had the workshop in school and then got to see it on stage.
Longwick CE Primary School

OperaFirst gives an exceptional opportunity to a new generation of young people to explore the musical and dramatic themes of an opera through in-school workshops, before attending a full-scale performance at Wormsley. Our creative teams comprise professional directors, singers and composers who specialise in opera outreach work. All OperaFirst participants are invited to watch a specially-staged schools' performance on the main stage at Wormsley, featuring our Alvarez Young Artists in the principal roles. They are introduced to the backstage departments of Garsington Opera, giving them an insight into the technical aspects behind each production, including stage management, costumes and makeup. Many participants have now joined our Youth Company

Would you like your school to get involved with Garsington Opera?

Past Projects

   
   
          

OperaFirst gives an exceptional opportunity to a new generation of young people to explore the musical and dramatic themes of an opera through in-school workshops, before attending a full-scale performance at Wormsley. Our creative teams comprise professional directors, singers and composers who specialise in opera outreach work. All OperaFirst participants are invited to watch a specially-staged schools' performance on the main stage at Wormsley, featuring our Alvarez Young Artists in the principal roles. They are introduced to the backstage departments of Garsington Opera, giving them an insight into the technical aspects behind each production, including stage management, costumes and makeup. Many participants have now joined our Youth Company

Would you like your school to get involved with Garsington Opera?

Past Projects

   

   

   

   

Would you like your school to get involved with Garsington Opera? 

Garsington Opera Youth Company

Love singing, acting, art and design or stage management? Take the opera challenge and join our Youth Company. Develop singing, creative skills and stage experience and perform on stage at Garsington Opera.

Each year we meet young people aged 9-21 from across the county with a view to offering places to join the company from April. The word 'audition' can be a terrifying thought if you have never done anything like this before and as we are looking for potential rather than polished performance we try to make it feel like a fun workshop where young people can reach their potential. 

Malakhi has been in the company for several years: 

"When I first heard about opera I thought it was just people singing as loud as they could out to an audience of mostly older people dressed in suits and long dresses. Then Garsington came into my primary school and I experienced how exciting and adventurous opera is. After this I auditioned to be in the company and got in. As a member of the Youth Company I feel I can be myself, make new friends and reach my full creative potential."

Places to join this company are fully funded through the generous support of the Helen Hamlyn Foundation and as such we seek to recruit young people from a diverse range of backgrounds.  Please get in touch if you would like to attend 2021 auditions later this year. 

For each OperaFirst project a resource pack is created. Click the link below to access resources. 

Garsington Opera for All was an exciting three year project partnership between Garsington Opera, the charitable trust Magna Vitae, and the Coastal Communities Alliance, and was supported by Arts Council England's Strategic Touring Fund.

Although the original Opera for All project has now finished, the programme model remains transferable to other locations and we would be delighted to discuss opportunities with potential partners. For further information please contact learning@garsingtonopera.org

With particular focus on isolated coastal communities, Garsington Opera for All worked in collaboration with local authorieis and cultural organisations across four main areas of the UK; Thanet (Kent), Grimsby, Skegness and Somerset. In these partnership areas the programme delivered free public screenings of live performances from Garsington Opera, alongside a wider programme of participatory learning sessions for schools and adult groups aiming to promote, develop and sustain cultural opportunity in each area. 

The programme also offered other interested non-coastal venues and festivals the opportunity to deliver their own opera screening and community event through an associate package. 

Opera for All and Looping the Loop Fesitval (Thanet) - 2016 Schools' Workshop:

"Residencies were faultless. The Garsington team has the ability to connect with people of all ages. The approach is youthful and spontaneous, making the work feel different and fresh even when the workshops follow a common format." Music Service Project Manager, Grimsby

"They made quick judgements on the student abilities and adapted work to suit their needs. The Key Stage 4 students will take their ideas and improved confidence to their performing arts course." Secondary teacher, Skegness

"Composition is not my strength and seeing it in action has really helped to stimulate other ideas that I have since done with my class." Primary teacher, Grimsby

"I really liked making up the songs for the opera. I also liked playing the games. Thank you." Year 4 student, Somerset

"I am in awe of the work you do and the way you handle the material so that it is fun and accessible and meaningful for the children. Lucky kids is all I can say." Vicky Banham, Sedgmoor District Council