After three weeks of OperaPLUS, with workshops and performances across Somerset and Wiltshire, the team sang their final note of the 2018 project last Friday.
The five performances involved almost 300 children from 13 schools, not to mention siblings, classmates and school-friends in the audience, singing alongside the professional singers in the full-length production of “The Daughter of the Regiment” performed in their own school halls.
“I can honestly say, that in all the years I have been working in schools, The Team Mascot was one of the best arts projects I have had the privilege of being involved with.” – Headteacher of a participating school
‘The Team Mascot’ is Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg’s interpretation of Donizetti’s operatic comedy. All performances were semi-staged, sung in English and performed “in the round” to make them as accessible as possible, from first time opera goers (and there were a lot of them!) to seasoned listeners.
Some of our favourite feedback from the OperaPLUS shows…
- “I am writing to say you have inspired me to want to listen to more opera”
- “You have built up a truly inspirational opera project and you should be incredibly proud of what you are doing.”
- “Thank you for giving my friends and I one of the most memorable moments of our lives.”
- “The opportunity helped us to see what opera is really like. The performance was brilliant and the atmosphere was great.”
- “I never knew I would ever have a chance to sing opera”
- “Everyone was a little afraid of opera but all of us loved it at the end.”
- “You produced a very professional opera which was musically impressive and did not patronise your young chorus or your audience!”
- “It was the most captivating, imaginative and engaging performance in which the school children were so obviously included and valued.”
- “The students and parents were absolutely buzzing and it was something they will all remember for a very long time.
OperaPLUS has continued to expand since 2010. This year is the first time this Award-winning music education project has been taken into Wiltshire.
All performances were supported by Arts Council England, the Department for Education, D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and Jackdaws Music Education Trust. Shows in Somerset are further supported by Sound Foundation Somerset, Frome Town Council and South Somerset District Council. Shows in Wiltshire are further supported by Wiltshire Music Connect and Calne Town Council.