Opera in a Day
Yesterday, over 30 pupils took part in the English Touring Opera’s ‘Opera in a Day’ workshop, which saw them building up a set of opera scenes from scratch ready for performance in the Hall to parents and friends on the same day.
The new opera created by the students and English Touring Opera (ETO) was based on the plot of Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, which ETO will be performing at the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge tomorrow evening.
Students enjoyed a day of writing and rehearsing with Tim Yealland, Head of Education at ETO, and acclaimed composer Russell Hepplewhite. Soprano Sinead O’Kelly and ‘singing cellist’ Simon Wallfisch also worked with the students on the project.
Commenting on this collaboration with the Music department, Tim Yealland said: “It is incredibly exciting to be working creatively with music students from The Perse. Although we are borrowing ideas from Debussy’s wonderful opera Pelléas et Melisande, we will be creating in effect a brand new opera in a day, with new songs and new characters. There is a famous scene in which Melisande loses a special ring in a magical well: but what happens when we find the ring?”
ETO’s outreach programme focuses on creative work, and ranges from community operas and music theatre workshops to productions for young people and their families, featuring artists from the company’s main-stage shows, touring to schools across the UK. The company is also a national leader in the provision of arts for dementia sufferers.