Students from Rye Studio School have been in fine voice discovering that opera is ‘cool’.
They have been taking part in workshops with a professional company arranged by Rye Arts Festival.
It underlines the growing collaboration between the school and Festival.
Student David Swarbrick commented: “This has been an amazing insight into how cool opera is!” The opera La Boheme was staged by the whole school along with professional opera singers and musicians.
Conductor and director of Euphonia Alisdair Kitchen came down from London to Rye with Icelandic soprano Rannveig Karadottir and tenor Jo Doody as well as pianist Lucie Trogeur as part of the Rye Arts Festival’s programme of greater collaboration with Rye’s schools, with the Festival paying for the singers’ fees.
Last September students were involved with Euphonia’s performance of a triumphant La Traviata at Rye Arts Festival with Rannveig in the lead role.
There will be another event in the summer with Euphonia returning to perform Don Giovanni at September’s Rye Arts Festival with even greater involvement of Rye Studio School students in set and costume design and making, lighting and front of house.
Rye Studio School head Jo Townsend said: “The workshops were a huge success with whole school involvement, including textiles, graphics and performing arts departments.
“It has introduced many students to a new form of arts, and given them the chance to work with young, dedicated and talented professionals. This was an amazing example of cross-fertilisation across the arts and invaluable practical experience”.
Student Charlie Evans-Rouse, who took on the role of Assistant Stage Manager, worked on the sets and commented: “Some things were made by the students – artwork for the set was painted by year 13 students but we also rushed like crazy around sourcing props – I never realised quite how so many were needed and this was just for one scene!”
The hard work led to a dress rehearsal which was attended by an enthralled audience of children from Rye Primary School and the full performance was in front of the staff and students of the Studio School so they could see how all their hard work had come together.