Spotlight on schools performing opera in Skegness

Schools from across the district were in the spotlight in Skegness today performing with Garsington Opera for All as part of the SO Festival.

Nine schools took to the stage at the Embassy Centre to share the unique work they have been creating from Handel’s sparkling masterpiece Semele.

Schools from across East Lindsey performed  Handels sparkling opera  Semele on stage at the Embassy Theatre as part of the SO Festival. ANL-170629-172402001

Schools from across East Lindsey performed Handels sparkling opera Semele on stage at the Embassy Theatre as part of the SO Festival. ANL-170629-172402001

For the past two weeks, 250 children in nine local schools have worked with the team of professional artists from Garsington Opera for All team to explore opera – its drama, music, story-telling and expressive emotion.

Schools performing today were Huttoft Primary School, Partney CE Primary School, Hogsthorpe Primary Academy, Sutton on Sea Community Primary School, Tattershall Primary School, Willoughby St Helena’s CE Primary School, St Peter & Paul CE Primary School, Ingoldmells Academy and Skegness Academy.

For many of the children the project, funded by Arts Council England, was their first encounter with live opera singing.

Paul Grist, of Garsington Opera for All, said: “The workshops provide local children with an introduction to opera; teaching them how to tell a story through singing, acting and movement. The response from the Lincolnshire children has been fantastic – they’ve all worked incredibly hard and have found the process very rewarding.”

I love the singing and how loud it is and how they project it

Hope McIlwrick, 10, of Partney CE Primary School

This is the third year of the Garsington Opera for All project, Director Freya Wynn-Jones said: “I’m from Eastbourne which is a similar area to here and so I know how opera changed my life.

“It’s been such an honour to bring it here and help young people realise it’s an art form that they can contribute to with new work.”

Hope McIlwrick, 10, of Partney CE Primary School, was one of the performers. She said: “I was nervous but it was exciting.

“I love the singing and how loud it is and how they project it.”

Amy Ashley, 15, of Skegness Academy said: “It’s been fun. I especially enjoyed the acting.”

Other members of the wider community can get involved with a pop-up community choir workshop and performance on Saturday at the Grosvenor House Hotel at noon, prior to a screening of Semele in the Boating Lake at 1.50pm.

For a full programme on SO Festival download the PDF at www.sofestival.org/programme.

*See other schools performing live on the Skegness Standard Facebook page.