Trust gives The Willows Primary School, Greenham, the opportunity to stage an opera of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'.

Primary School OperaGreenham Trust supported professional touring opera company Opera Brava to deliver a week of intensive workshops where pupils will learn songs and music adapted from the C S Lewis classic, design and build the set and make the costumes and props. Three opera singers, a set designer and crew visited the school and worked with groups of up to 80 children, culminating in a stage performance to parents and friends at Newbury Racecourse

It is part of Opera Brava's Education Programme, which gives school children the opportunity to experience opera in an accessible and creative form. The children are led and guided by leading professionals in the fields of singing, orchestra, set design and choreography. The children are very much included in the creative process and choreography, ensuring that each school's performance is entirely unique.

Artistic director for Opera Brava Bronek Pomorski said: "Opera Brava's work with 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' has changed the lives of many of the children who have participated in the productions.

"The children get involved in all of the singing, acting, dancing and prop making. Teachers who we have worked with before have commented on the growing confidence of the children and how it has helped with their academic work."

Auditions took place last Friday for the singing roles for the production. Willows headteacher Alexandra Butler said: "The children are really excited and up for the challenge. This is very important to us as a school because the children would never have got an opportunity to get involved with such an inspirational and professional musical production. They are thrilled to have been given this opportunity and it will give them invaluable skills and aspirations to use in later life."

Boroughbridge Primary School in North Yorkshire described Opera Brava's education programme as a "transformational" experience for pupils.

Headteacher David Roberts said: "We have been extremely fortunate to have worked with Opera Brava for the past two years. Many found a singing voice which they didn't realise they possessed. Others found great confidence through performing with a professional opera company. Everyone who saw the production was very impressed with the obvious enjoyment, confidence and professionalism that the children possessed."


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