Kettering school pupils perform opera on London stage

Grange Primary Academy children at the Copper Box Arena NNL-191107-141026005
Grange Primary Academy children at the Copper Box Arena NNL-191107-141026005

Pupils from Grange Primary Academy took to the stage at the Copper Box Arena in London to take part in a production of Carmen!

The pupils joined more than 1,500 others from academy trust United Learning’s national group of schools for the unique performance of the ‘Choice of Don Jose’ from Bizet’s Carmen! at the Olympic Park.

Their performance is the culmination of a year’s partnership between United Learning, the Royal Opera House, The Voices Foundation and the English Pocket Opera Company.

Using the Royal Opera House’s Create and Sing learning resources and with teacher training delivered by The Voices Foundation, the pupils at Grange Primary Academy were introduced to opera.

Over the past few months, they have immersed themselves in the world of opera, listening and learning to understand the genre, and even more impressively, delivering their very own operatic performance of Carmen!.

The colourful and energetic performance, which was staged and directed by the English Pocket Opera Company, delighted over 1,000 spectators including parents and guests from the world of opera, music and education.

One pupil said: “It was so exciting to be performing in the concert at London’s Olympic Park and meeting children from across the country who also had been learning opera.

It was an honour to represent our school”.

Catherine Barker, Head of Music and Performing Arts at United Learning, said: “All of the pupils gave a superb performance in which their new-found love of opera really shone through. The sound of 1,500 pupils singing together was mesmerising and was a true celebration of music. Congratulations to all the pupils who sang and performed magnificently and thank you to our fantastic staff for throwing themselves into this ambitious project with such enthusiasm.

“We are fortunate to have been able to partner with the Royal Opera House, The Voices Foundation and the English Pocket Opera Company for this project. With their support, expertise and resources, we were able to give our pupils the very best musical learning opportunities and plant the seeds for a lifelong love of opera and musical performance.

“Projects like these which teach pupils new skills, broaden their horizons and give them memorable experiences are part of United Learning’s commitment to deliver an Education with Character. As well as introducing our pupils to a new genre of music, this project has given them the opportunity to perform in a fantastic venue, collaborate with their peers from across the country and be part of a special celebration of talent and creativity.

“I am delighted that we have been able to provide this for our pupils and I look forward to seeing them build on this experience as they develop into confident, articulate and ambitious young adults.”