OAE Flagship

Our Flagship programmes are in-depth residencies across the country, where we participate in workshops and performances with many parts of the community. From theatres to pubs, schools to care homes, we try to be right at the heart of every community we work in. Below are examples of the Flagship tours we’ve undertaken in the recent years.

The Moon Hares

‘The Moon Hares’ is our magical community opera written by Hazel Gould with music by James Redwood beautifully entwined with music from Henry Purcell’s Dioclesian..

Touring to County Durham, Norfolk, Suffolk, London and Plymouth in 2019 and 2020, The Moon Hares is a musical theatre/opera piece with and for young people in special and mainstream schools, as well as a variety of community groups. It was performed alongside our players in local venues to audiences of all ages.

The production tells a magical story about a village where the children have never seen the moon, as they are forbidden from going out at night.

"Increasingly we are seeing the importance of place to our communities, and of the important role which arts and culture plays in establishing place. It’s exciting to see the OAE’s proposal, taking world-class music to these shared community spaces across the country."
Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England

The Moon Hares Plymouth & King's Lynn

We ran workshops with young adults from the Skills Development course at City College together with the lovely team at Plymouth Music Zone (PMZ), as well as with local primary pupils. We were also joined by Broad Harmony singers in our performance at the beautiful Plymouth Guildhall on March 28 2022 in what was a magical evening.


We returned to the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on June 28 2022 for a sold-out performance of ‘The Moon Hares’ with local primary pupils from around King’s Lynn, students from Churchill Park and Springwood Academies and local singers. At a time when some shows were still being pulled due to audience reluctance to come back to live events, we were delighted that we had such a good turn out!

"Working with the OAE always brings an opportunity to reflect deeply on best professional practice, and always a sense of shared learning and connection between musicians and participants. Every participant is included and activities are tailored around them to draw out and nurture what they can do. Somehow all the colours of the rainbow were brighter than ever with this project – the music was astonishingly beautiful, moving and heartfelt. "
Anna Batson, Plymouth Music Zone

Musical Landscapes

In 2017 and 2018, our Musical Landscapes tour built on our Watercycle project (see below) with further residencies in King’s Lynn and Lowestoft, as well as new locations in Mildenhall (Suffolk) and County Durham.

This time, the focus was on the local environment, with local schoolchildren in each town working with our Digital Content Officer, Zen Grisdale, to create a film about their local area. The same children then teamed up with our composer James Redwood to write a soundtrack for the film, which was performed along with a screening during the community concerts.

Musical Landscapes also included a similarly wide range of teacher training, workshops and concerts as the Watercycle tour.

"I enjoyed it that much that it gave me goose bumps."
Chloe, aged 7


Watercycle was our wide-reaching music education project for 2014-2016, featuring music inspired by water.

The tour visited Brighton, York, Chesterfield, Bradford-on-Avon, King’s Lynn, Plymouth, London, Lowestoft and Southampton. In three day residencies, each location enjoyed bespoke training, workshops and performances from our players. As well as Handel’s Water Music, our performances included two new songs commissioned from composer James Redwood, performed by the Orchestra and primary pupils, secondary students and local choirs.

Each residency included a range of:

  • Teacher training
  • Schools workshops with primary and secondary students
  • Special needs workshops
  • Care home visits
  • OAE TOTS concerts
  • Schools concerts
  • Community concerts in local theatres
  • Concerts in unconventional locations, such as a pub crawl in Chesterfield and a gig on a Red Funnel Ferry from Southampton to the Isle of Wight

As well as performances, Watercycle aimed to inspire new generations of teachers and musicians, focusing on areas in the country where music education faces its greatest struggle. The project aims to provide teachers and musicians with enhanced skills to deliver outstanding music education opportunities for young people.

"Amazing indeed – absolutely wonderful and I’m in total awe of the way you do OAE Education – the excellence, the warmth with people and the imagination."
Jo Glover, Sloop Group (York)