Royal Opera House marks 10th Anniversary with four days of fun
IT was a busy week for the Royal Opera House Learning and Participation team based at the High House Production Park as hundreds of students from across Thurrock visited the Park to celebrate another successful year of the Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer programme and the tenth anniversary of the Royal Opera House beginning to work with Thurrock communities.
Between Wednesday and Friday, more than 700 students and 100 staff from 28 Thurrock schools attended activities at the High House Production Park. They took part in singing sessions, join in mass dance classes and were treated to short performances from some very famous operas and ballets. The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland invited them to a tea party in the Walled Garden, they joined Papageno from Mozart’s The Magic Flute in his search for his true love, Papagena, and shared Mimi and Rodolfo’s happiness in Puccini’s La bohème.
The three days were a culmination of the year’s work on Thurrock Trailblazer, the Royal Opera House’s innovative programme run in partnership with Thurrock Council which aims to offer high quality arts and cultural activities, visits to heritage sites and specialist teacher training that boosts creative learning in schools, and aids and enhances students’ development.
Steven Moon, ROH Thurrock Trailblazer’s Cultural Champion in Herringham Primary School said of the school’s visit to the High House Production Park: “ROHThurrock10 was a fabulous event that all the pupils really enjoyed. It was a great opportunity for pupils to link their learning through the ROH Thurrock Trailblazer activities and workshops to the role of the ROH and the arts in the real world. Pupils were thrilled to see live reimaginings of such tales as Swan Lake, La bohème and Alice in Wonderland and see these portrayed through opera, dance and acting. Many of our pupils have never been to a theatre before or seen an opera, so this was a fantastic cultural opportunity. It also enabled pupils to see the many wonderful opportunities that the arts provide as possible career choices.”
Gabrielle Forester-Still, Head of Learning and Participation for the Royal Opera House in Thurrock said: ‘Our three days of Thurrock Trailblazer activity and then two days of free public events were a wonderful way to round off an eventful year and celebrate everything we have done with schools, communities, organisations, business and artists in the borough. Thurrock is our home from home and we look forward to more partnership working and more Thurrock Trailblazer success in the years ahead.’
It is ten years since the Royal Opera House first began working with communities across Thurrock and many of the children taking part in Thurrock Trailblazer returned to the Park on Saturday for a free community day where there were more performances, costumes to try on, a scenic painting workshop and a special finale with the ROH Thurrock Community Chorus. On Friday, the annual BP free Big Screen saw 600 opera fans enjoying picnics and Puccini’s magnificent Turandot as it was screen love from Covent Garden.