Professional opera taken to Castle Camps Primary School

English Touring Opera performing during their visit to Castle Camps Primary School. ANL-161205-102145001
English Touring Opera performing during their visit to Castle Camps Primary School. ANL-161205-102145001

Castle Camps Primary School recently had a special visit and performance by English Touring Opera (ETO).

Musicians Ben Davies (cello and percussion), John Rogers (viola) and Jake Rea (violin) accompanied singers Alison Manifold (soprano), Yan Capinski (baritone) and Felicity Buckland (mezzo soprano) to a live performance of the multi-sensory opera Dust Child.

This opera, composed by James Garner and Anna Pool is one of two new operas for young people created every spring.

The children were encouraged to take an active part in the show and evidently enjoyed the experience.

Head teacher, Alexandra O’Connor said: “We are extremely grateful to the company for providing our children with such an outstanding and accessible introduction to the world of opera.

“It was a pleasure to observe the total engagement of every child, from the youngest to the oldest and to experience the sense of awe and wonder pervading the room.”

“We hope to welcome back the English Touring Opera to Castle Camps in the near future.”

One young boy was overhead to say to his teacher: ‘Ten out of ten’ when asked what he thought about the performance. Others were seen holding their hands over their ears whilst grinning with delight, as the pitch and volume of this unique sound, rose to volumes and heights never heard before!

English Touring Opera believes opera is an art from that offers creative opportunity for people of every age and ability and from every background.

The visit to Castle Camps forms part of their award winning education work which reaches 12,000 people every year through 250 workshops and performances.

There are creative projects across the country for every kind of school, including a unique strand of operas for those with special needs.

The company is known also for its programme of work for people living with dementia; Turtle Song is now in its tenth year.

Tim Yealland , Head of Education at the ETO said: “Alongside the main shows at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge, we are bringing opera to just two schools in the area including Castle Camps.

“We are delighted that Dust Child proved a perfect fit both for the school hall and for the school’s younger children.

“ETO is always seeking new relationships and it thrilled with the new partnership with Castle Camps.”

Castle Camps C of E Primary School is a small, friendly, safe school in the heart of the village, with a team of dedicated and experienced staff. It offers a wide range of extra curricular activities and this project is just one of the many ways the school reaches out to embrace opportunities to broaden the children’s horizons.