Winchelsea children create amazing opera

St Thomas Opera SUS-160721-093504001
St Thomas Opera SUS-160721-093504001

Year 5 and 6 pupils of St Thomas’s Primary School at Winchelsea created and performed a colourful opera from Scratch.

The project is based upon a Royal Opera House scheme to allow pupils from all walks of life to be inspired by the many creative elements which combine to create an opera.

Pupils wrote the storyline, composed and performed the music and lyrics, created the set, costumes, props, posters and choreographed their own dances.

The result was a romping tale of magic, trolls, vengeful wolves, royal courtiers and mischievous school children – all set to music.

Dianne Nunn, from the school said: “It is a high energy opera with a roller coaster ride of a tale. There is love, loss, tension, blood and guts all set to dynamic and wonderful music. Everything a good opera should be.”

Dee Rampling, the teacher behind the opera, said: “Initially, some of the pupils were not at all confident about the idea when it was first put to them.

“But the Royal Opera House project allows children with absolutely no musical background to gain valuable performance skills; it empowers them.

“The children took the seed of an idea and their zeal and enthusiasm has driven this project.

“The end result was wonderful and unlike anything you would expect from an ordinary primary school production.”

Katy Downs in Y6 said: “I enjoyed working together as a team and I found it fun learning how to write songs. We learned lots of new skills and had responsibility because the teacher trusted us. Everyone achieved a lot of goals.”

The sense of achievement and personal development was palpable amongst the pupils.

Dylan Walker, Y5, said: “ It is a brilliant experience and it has taught us life skills like team work and standing up in front of people which I was really not happy to do at first.”

However, Mrs Rampling was keen to point out that not all school pupils are as lucky as those at Winchelsea where the Headteacher and Governors are hugely supportive of the creative curriculum.

She said: “When you recall the best experiences of your school days they are so often memories of creative projects, team collaborations or simply having fun.

“I am confident all thirty eight children will remember this for many years to come.”

The opera was performed for local residents at Winchelsea New Hall.

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