A DORSET school helped to breathe new life into an opera.
Dorset Opera Festival and the Dorset schoolchildren, teamed up to bring opera alive and recreate an ancient tale with 45 students at the school.
Lead by a team from the Dorset Opera Festival, the students created lyrics, new compositions, as well as singing in the original French language and performing songs from the Gounod’s grand opera, Faust. The result was a world premiere of a work based on
the themes of Faust– disillusionment, desire, temptation, love and the idea of good eventually triumphing over evil.
Their work was staged complete with an eight-piece band, and enabled talent to shine from students who might never have had the opportunity to sing, dance and compose songs before.
The young people were put through their paces by pianist, presenter and composer Dominic Harlan, opera singer and producer Lynsey Docherty, and virtuoso cellist and baritone Matthew Sharp.
Mrs Docherty, who is also on the Board of Directors at Dorset Opera Festival said: “Creating opera with young people allows them to develop creative skills they never knew they had.
“It is abundantly clear from the resulting piece how the arts stimulate and encourage creativity, communication, cooperation, confidence and self-expression that are vital for young people as they develop into adulthood.”
She added: “Creating their own work validates their ideas, and giving them a glimpse into the behind the scenes work of opera singers, how they create sound and the professional and focussed work behind staging such an art form has been revolutionary for the students.”
The project was a result of Dorset Opera Festival and a donation from philanthropists Margrette and John Jones gifted to Queen Elizabeth’s School in Wimborne to provide inspiring musical leadership that reflects the international work of the festival and its commitment to young people.
Dorset Opera Festival’s performances of Faust and Le Comte Ory run from July 25, to July 29. For more information visit dorsetopera.com