September 27th, 2016

Coventry schoolchildren have chance to hit high notes with opera group

Updated: 11:01 am, May 21, 2015

COVENTRY’S first professional opera company are giving local schoolchildren the chance to join them onstage in their upcoming run at the Belgrade Theatre.

Home-grown opera company, HighTime, are opening the theatre doors to 60 lucky youngsters to show off their performing skills in their production of Hansel and Gretel.

Sung entirely in English, the year 7 and 8 pupils from across the city will join the children’s chorus for two performances at the theatre starring alongside a cast of internationally-acclaimed professional singers, whose credits include the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

HighTime’s modern re-telling of composer Englebert Humperdinck’s beloved fairytale opera follows poverty-stricken Hansel and Gretel, whose mother sends them to forage for food on the mean city streets.

Complete with a sinister Ringmaster, renowned for luring children away from their homes with the intoxicating smell of frying hot dogs, the production promises audiences ‘a magical evening’ out at the theatre.

Musical Director, Benjamin Hamilton, explained that HighTime wanted to encourage a love of opera in Coventrians from all walks of life.

He added: “Our modernised version of Hansel and Gretel is an ideal introduction for children, and adults, of any age to the power of opera.

“Having lived in Coventry nearly all of my life, it’s so important to me to introduce this exceptional art form to the young people of the city.”

A free series of workshops, run by experienced children’s theatre education expert Nikki Genner, will take place on Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 to introduce attendees to the opera and teach them basics in vocal technique, stagecraft and characterisation.

Children interested in being involved should ask their parents or legal guardians to fill in the sign-up sheet at http://www.HighTime.org.uk.

More information can be found by emailing HighTime’s education officer, Nikki Genner, at education@hightime.org.uk

Hansel and Gretel runs from May 7 until May 9 at the Belgrade Theatre B2, with tickets available online at www.belgrade.co.uk or by calling the box office on 02476 553055

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