10 February 2014 at 11.10am | Comment on this article
The Royal Opera House is now recruiting for Write an Opera 2014. The programme, a week-long residential course held in August, equips teachers with the skills, resources and inspiration to lead their students in school as they devise and stage their own opera.
‘Learning a step-wise method of creating and staging an opera sounds preposterous and impossible,’ says composer and course leader Richard Taylor. ‘Surely you'd have to be a musician, read music and, at the very least, have experience? But absolutely not! The hundreds of children of all ages who write, compose, design, act and sing in their own operas every year are proof that it really works. In the past two years alone, we've seen operas about lobster armies, stampeding zombies, warring Greek gods, and the perils of making jam.’
During the course, the teachers create an original opera, learning skills and techniques that include set design, composition and libretto writing. Participants also focus on ways to engage their own students in every aspect of devising and staging an opera, from the original text, to marketing and box office. After the course, the teachers return to school armed with the skills and resources to create an opera with their students over the academic year.
‘Write an Opera changed me and my approach to teaching forever,’ says Alison Palmer from Riverside Primary School in Rainham, Kent. ‘ It is the most exciting course I have ever attended.’
The programme, which is led by a team of professional artists with extensive arts educational experience, takes place from 9 to 16 August 2014 at Bryanston School, Dorset. The school, set in 400 acres of fields and gardens, is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities making it ideal for a week of creative learning and inspiration. The processes learnt can be adapted to suit the school and student’s needs; in the past operas have been successfully created in Primary, Secondary and Special schools across the UK.
The deadline for applications is 30 May 2014. For more details about the course and how to apply, visit our Write an Opera page.