Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer schools take on The Flying Dutchman

THE Thameside Theatre was filled with the sound of young voices joining together to sing opera on Friday 24 March as five Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer schools celebrated their work on their Trailblazer projects with a Big Sing event.

More than 100 students from Hathaway Academy, Harris Academy Chafford Hundred, St Cleres School and Hassenbrook Academy gathered at the Thameside to join Royal Opera House practitioners in workshops and rehearsals of Richard Wagner’s 1840 opera The Flying Dutchman.

Students took part in three dramatic singing workshops; they learnt new repertory in harmony with Stuart Overington, had a vocal technique masterclass with opera singer Dawid Kimber and pulled the elements together to create a dramatic performance with Greg Eldridge.

Teacher Anna Burgin from Harris Academy Chafford Hundred said: ‘My choir engaged brilliantly with the Flying Dutchman resource following CPD with Stuart Overington. Each rehearsal they were enthusiastic about learning new sections. The Big Sing Day was an excellent culmination event having all the schools come together. The girls from my school really enjoyed the day and it was great to see them engaging in workshops with professional singers, then coming together in an excellent performance at the end of the day.’

Gabrielle Forster-Still, Head of Learning and Participation Thurrock for Royal Opera House said ”It was wonderful to see the students tackling opera with no hesitation and with great gusto. Singing together is such a powerful thing and the atmosphere was tremendous. What a fabulous end to the schools’ Trailblazer project.’

Trailblazer is an innovative programme that boost creative learning in schools and accelerate pupils’ development. To find out more about Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer, please go to www.roh.org.uk/trailblazer.

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