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Introducing Opera to Merton and Wandsworth Schools

Across 2 weeks in July, 14 workshops were delivered to 8 primary and secondary schools in Wandsworth & Merton. Sports halls were filled with the sounds of the Toreador Song and the moves from the latest TikTok trends as the children were introduced to Baseless Fabric’s adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen by our wonderful team of facilitators Rachel Maby, Juliane Gallant and Elliott Daley.

Feedback from the students has been wonderful. 99% of students said that they liked the workshop with 81% of those saying they loved it. 85% of students said that after the workshop they would now definitely attend or consider attending an opera. When asked what they had learnt during the session answers ranged from as specific as “the position of the larynx when singing” to simply “that I like opera!” and “that opera can be fun!”

Possibly one of the most rewarding parts of these workshops is that our facilitators see the impact the experience can have on the students, and even see growth in the confidence and interest of individual children over the course of the session. For example, student ‘P’ started his session with his back to the facilitators. During the course of the workshop he became more interested, especially when Juliane compared music to his favourite subject, maths. By the end ‘P’ was fully involved, excited and he wanted to answer ALL the questions! Read more

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Opera Taster Workshops Are Underway

This week marked the start of our Carmen Opera Taster Workshops to 8 primary and secondary schools in Wandsworth & Merton. The workshops were organised with the help of the lovely teams as Merton Music Foundation and Wandsworth Music and will be delivered over the next 2 weeks by our brilliant team of facilitators – Rachel Maby, Juliane Gallant, Elliott Daley and Elizabeth Humphries.

Read more

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“Had never been to the opera and now would love to go!”

Louisa & Giles at the Autumn Rose Club

Louisa & Giles at the Autumn Rose Club

It’s a sad time but we’ve come to the end of our amazing Die Fledermaus project over the past 18 months. We’re looking back on everything that we’ve achieved and all the brilliant people we’ve met, especially the fantastic young people in our Opera Taster Workshops and Parallel Productions and the wonderful older people in our sessions for elderly groups. We’ve had such fun in all the different activities of the project and are so proud of what everyone’s achieved. Read more

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School kids considering a career in opera!

Holy Trinity Primary School Workshop

A few weeks ago we had a great time running workshops for various primary and secondary schools across Merton and Wandsworth teaching Years 5 & 6 about opera as part of our Die Fledermaus project.

We asked our brilliant workshop leaders James, Elliott and Danae to tell us a bit more about how they went….. Read more

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Die Fledermaus School Workshops

Students workshop at St Marks Academy

As part of our exciting Die Fledermaus project we are running a series of workshops in primary and secondary schools across Merton & Wandsworth this July. These workshops teach young people about opera giving many of them an insight into an art form they might not otherwise encounter. They learn about what opera is and who is involved in creating it; the story and characters of Die Fledermaus and our modern adaptation; they learn to sing and act out the characters of a section of the opera themselves; and they get to hear a professionally trained opera singer sing right next to them and sing with her!

We can’t wait for our three talented workshop leaders to get working with all these schools in a few weeks. Meanwhile, you can learn a bit more about them here: Read more

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Cosi Fan Tutte Workshop Leaders

We’re kicking off our young people’s workshops this week as part of our Cosi Fan Tutte street opera project. We’ll be running workshops at various schools across the borough of Merton over the next few weeks teaching young people about Mozart, getting them singing a bit of the opera themselves and hearing our professional opera singer Felicity Buckland sing! Kindly supported by the Wimbledon Foundation, we’re super excited to be introducing lots of young people in Merton to Mozart’s fabulous music!! 

We’ll let you know soon how we get on but for now wanted to introduce you to our workshop leaders for this project – if we’re coming to your school or group you’ll get to meet these opera professionals over the next few weeks! And we’re all really looking forward to meeting you….. Read more

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Workshops for the new Merton Opera

Workshop at St Marks Academy

Workshop at St Marks Academy

We’re well underway with our planning for the full production of Drifting Dragons, our new promenade street opera kindly supported by the Arts Council, The Philip Bates Trust and The Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust. We’ve been back into community organisations including the wonderful Merton & Morden Guild and New Horizon Centre to talk to people about the project, show them the filming from the R&D and get their thoughts on both what should happen next in the story and where we should perform on the high streets of Merton.

Students workshop at St Marks Academy

Workshop at St Marks Academy

Meanwhile, we’ve also run workshops for some brilliant young people teaching them to sing and act out some of our opera themselves. We taught them to sing some of our music, discussed the difference between an aria and a duet, and how to play a character while singing and playing a scene. We’ve seen some brilliant characters and heard some fantastic singing at Lonesome Primary, The Priory Church of England Primary and St Marks Academy, so we’re hoping the students will come along to the performances and give our professional opera singers some tips on how it’s done ☺

And I’m currently running round talking to supermarkets and cafes and getting everything organised for our high street performance locations so expect to see us on your high street very soon!