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A new Figaro

Wed Oct 3 2012

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© Ellie Cowan

At the end of September, OAE players visited St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon for our annual opera project with eight classes of Year 7’s who had just joined the school. To create a company with over 200 students, staff from the school and the Orchestra was an amazing experience. By Friday, we had retold the story of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro through dance, song and drama and performed to over 200 primary pupils, some of whom will join the school next year. After school each day, we offered twilight sessions for instrumentalists from the school who joined us to form an ensemble as well as masterclasses and a brilliant A-Level seminar on baroque opera by OAE’s Steven Devine.

OAE Education offers opportunities for exploration at lots of different levels – during this project we were also joined by Annabel from the South West Music School and two students Heather and Mike from Bath Spa University who became part of the creative team.

Kate Rowe, Head of Performing Arts at the school said after the event:

“How can I begin to express our thanks for last week’s fantastic residency with the OAE with the Figaro project? The Year 7s have been absolutely buzzing this week, and are so pleased with themselves, it’s a sight to behold! The students all say how much they thoroughly enjoyed the experience, one eloquent young man today said ”I like the fact that they were so good at what they do, they made it fun and really unique.”  To reach the hearts and minds of 210 excitable 11 year olds is no mean feat, let alone 200 more Year 6’s in the audience who all thoroughly enjoyed the performance, and who, thanks to you, are looking forward to joining us (and you please) next year! 
As for me personally, Figaro was a dream come true, I think that is the first time I have been moved to tears and left literally speechless after a performance – thank you! Please send my sincere and heartfelt thanks to all the team, for all their input, energy, creativity, expertise and above all enthusiasm!  It really is the highlight of our school year.”

What a lovely start to the year!

Cherry Forbes, OAE Education Director

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