Aberdeen pupils the first in Scotland to take part in new opera project

Aberdeen Primary 3 pupils were today (Friday 11 May) the first in Scotland to take part in an innovative new interactive musical experience created by Scottish Opera.

In the first performance of The Opera Factory Primary 3 pupils from Riverbank and St Peter’s schools explored how an opera is made.

The performance, which took place at the University of Aberdeen featured singers, actors and The Orchestra of the Scottish Opera. The tour will also take in Inverness, Glasgow, Musselburgh and Paisley.

Councillor John Wheeler, Education Operational Delivery Convener also attended the event. He said: “We pride ourselves on the varied and interesting curriculum we offer pupils of all ages in Aberdeen. So it’s fantastic to link up with Scottish Opera in this way and give our younger pupils such a fun and fascinating insight into opera.”

To prepare for the hour-long show, the children and their teachers used an online resource pack which included short films and guide vocal tracks presented and sung by mezzo soprano Sarah Shorter, to teach a song adapted from the aria ‘Non piu andrai’ from Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro.

Pupils were also introduced to the characters Libby Retto and Compo Zerr, who guided them on an online, behind-the-scenes, visit around Theatre Royal Glasgow to meet the people who work to bring opera to life.

Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, said: ”Scottish Opera is delighted to announce a new project for Level 1 primary pupils that has been designed to unlock the doors that lead straight onto the opera stage.

“In just 60 minutes, we plan to inspire hundreds of curious seven and eight year olds to explore the many elements involved in making this amazing art form.

“Using a combination of advance learning materials and audience participation, this funny and fast-moving experience is the perfect start to life-long engagement with music and the performing arts.”

For more information visit www.scottishopera.org.uk/join-in/opera-for-schools


Photograph shows Councillor John Wheeler (second from left) with Scottish Opera singers (left to right) Douglas Nairn, Christian Schneeberger, Sarah Power and Katie Grossett with Primary 3 pupils Anne-Marie Somerlade, Wiktoria Skorska (St Peters School) and Renars Lazdans and Gary Deans( Riverbank School)