Posted on: 5/06/2017

Garsington Opera, Cressex Community School and the local community come together for a life-changing project

When Garsington Opera approached Cressex Community School to participate in Roxanna Panufnik’s new ‘people’s opera’, Silver Birch, we leapt at the chance. We knew how special it was going to be for our students to work alongside professional soloists and orchestra, young musicians from Buckinghamshire Music Education Hub and an adult choir drawn from the local community. A three day mini-residency followed, led by Garsington Opera Company, during which ninety students from across the school sang, danced and performed their hearts out. Backstage, other students assisted with the sound design and production, learning first hand all the different elements that combine to stage an opera.

And special it has indeed been. One of our younger students, having arrived in Britain from Poland just last year, said the experience made her feel for the first time that she belonged here. Furthermore, eight of our students will be joining the whole cast for the forthcoming public performances of the full opera, taking place on 28th, 29th and 30th July at 7.30 pm, at Garsington’s new home at the Wormsley Estate, a short drive from High Wycombe. To read more about this unique experience for our students, please read the attached article which recently appeared in the Classical Music Magazine.

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