Longborough Festival Opera brings a unique workshop to Cotswold children

Longborough Festival Opera's highly successful programme, Playground Opera, is returning in 2023 with a brand-new show to encourage young people to explore the magic of the classical art form.

By Kaleigh Pritchard  |  Published
Longborough Festival Opera brings the magic of opera to Cotswolds schools this Summer 2023.

The highly-acclaimed opera company and charity, Longborough Festival Opera, is bringing its Playground Opera programme to schools across the Cotswolds this summer 2023.

The programme was launched in 2021 and reaches over 1,500 local schools each year, bringing together emerging talent and musicians to perform and inspire young people to discover the magic of opera.

The directors, musicians, singers, and actors that make up The Longborough Education Team are touring a specially adapted performance of Carmen, the French composer Georges Bizet's most famous operatic piece, with the reworked piece entitled The Downfall of Don José.

The performance is set to be filled with familiar tunes that students will be able to singalong with, as well as incorporating plenty of plot twists and colourful characters to keep them engaged throughout.

Speaking on this year's show, Longborough's head of learning and participation, Jessica May said: 'We've turned the tragic story of Carmen upside down into a cautionary tale of catastrophic decision making. The Downfall of Don José takes the magic combination of a great story and beautiful music (performed by world class musicians) into the hearts of schools, inspiring a new generation of opera lovers.'

The touring team will spend a full day at each school it visits, unpacking the story and its plot issues in open discussions with the pupils to motivate them to consider their own choices - along with the chance for each group to rewrite the narrative in an engaging and interactive workshop-style session.

After learning the 'Children's Chorus' and the 'Toreador's Chorus' from the original Carmen, each session finishes with the chance to perform alongside the professional cast in the final show.

The Playground Opera programme was designed to continue Longborough Festival Opera's mission to make opera accessible to a wider audience while also promoting creativity, teamwork, and confidence in its audiences.

For more information, visit lfo.org.uk.

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