High school musical with operatic turn in Spalding

Spalding High School Year 9 students perform their opera, Generation Strong.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Spalding High School Year 9 students perform their opera, Generation Strong. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Students from Spalding High School sampled the life of an opera diva while taking part in a scheme combining performing arts with real life.

About 60 Year 9 students took part in Write an Opera, a development scheme from drama teachers run by the Royal Opera House in London.

Year 9 students from Spalding High School wrote and performed their opera, Settle Down.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Year 9 students from Spalding High School wrote and performed their opera, Settle Down. Photo by Tim Wilson.

During the spring and summer terms, students created and composed two operas - Generation Strong and Settle Down - examining issues of self-image, personal struggle and human tragedy.

Head of drama Tanwen Fiske said: “The students had to set up an opera company and then work together to develop characters, ideas and stories on a carousel-like basis.

“They nominated themselves for performing, musician and backstage roles which was a real challenge for them because if something wasn’t working, they then had to try something else.

“We had a project director from the Royal Opera House who worked with students and they also had some voice coaching from operatic soprano Alison Pearce.

“It was a thrilling experience to work with two whole classes as an opera company, with an opportunity for every member of the group to shine in either a design, technical, music composition or performing role.

“There has been a noticeable improvement in the self-belief and determination of the pupils who learned so much about their own capabilities.

“I still find myself humming the haunting melodies written by the student themselves which is surely testament to their success, so congratulations to every one of them involved.”