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  • Watch: The Watchers in the Wings – a new opera short from the ROH Youth Opera Company

Watch: The Watchers in the Wings – a new opera short from the ROH Youth Opera Company

A specially-commissioned four-minute opera shows that opera really is for all ages.

By Mel Spencer (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

24 October 2016 at 2.22pm | Comment on this article

The Royal Opera House’s Youth Opera Company is proud to present a newly commissioned four-minute opera by children’s author Steven Butler and award-winning composer John Barber.

Watchers in the Wings stars 47 children aged between nine and 13 years old and sees them perform alongside British tenor Paul Curievici. The film was produced on location at the Royal Opera House and tells the story of a group of schoolchildren who find themselves whisked away on an adventure through the building, with a little help from a mysterious and enigmatic tour guide.

This commission aims to reach the hearts of a younger audience and showcase the versatility of the art form through a vibrant, lively performance on a digital platform.

Director of Opera, Kasper Holten, said: 'This has been a fantastic collaboration for us, working with new friends in the music video industry on a brand new opera for young people. It’s really important for us to find new ways of introducing opera to another generation.'

Singer Dana Whigan, 13, said her favourite moment was seeing herself in the make-up and costumes for the performance:

'I learnt that great things can be accomplished if we work hard and persevere,' she said.

Fellow performer Tyler Woodhouse, 12, said: 'My favorite moment was filming in the auditorium which was an extremely beautiful place and it was such an honor. It felt really special as so many people had performed there before us, which felt really cool as it was like making our little mark.'

The film's release coincides with recent debate around what constitutes 'healthy' singing for children. The Royal Opera House will be launching a new national dramatic singing programme for primary schools, 'Create and Sing Carmen', in 2017.

Find out more about the Youth Opera Company and the Royal Opera House's Learning and Participation work.

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