Magna Voce perform in opera at Theatre Royal in Norwich

The Prep School’s Magna Voce choir were thrilled to participate in the Norfolk Schools’ Opera Project at the Norwich Theatre Royal which took place on Sunday 23 June. The opera ‘A Kind of Magic Flute’ was written especially for this event and commissioned by Norwich Theatre Royal and Norfolk Music Hub who created a new partnership that helps schools and pupils learn about opera – its drama, music and creativity.

This brand new children’s opera fuses Mozart’s Magic Flute with a little twist of Latin-American Salsa music and took six months to put together! Over 500 Norfolk pupils came together to tell this fantastical story of magic, conflict and the power of love working together with directors, professional opera singers and musical directors.

Magna Voce learned the songs in normal rehearsal times, in preparation to perform as an audience school, in the Upper Circle of Norwich Theatre Royal. They sang from the theatre audience, rather than on the stage and  it was performed with live orchestral music from Norfolk Music Hub’s Gifted and Talented young musicians.

Having the chance to not only watch an opera but actually participate in an opera has been an exhilarating opportunity for our pupils. They have been able to experience first-hand what it is like to go through the rehearsal process with professionals, prior to a performance. They were able to learn particular vocal techniques and challenge themselves with various rhythms. It enabled pupils to fully immerse themselves into a different musical genre. The pupils also enjoyed working with Gillian Shaw who led a rehearsal with Magna Voce in preparation for the opera by showing our choir different techniques to support their singing and giving them the opportunity to learn particular parts to the opera.

This new programme has involved work with not only 120 children from schools across Thetford for a whole academic year but also 18 additional audience schools and an ensemble of young Gifted & Talented musicians. David Stowell conducted the students’ orchestra.

Norfolk has some amazingly talented young musicians and we are delighted to announce that Music for Youth has invited Norfolk Music Hub and Norwich Theatre Royal to put together a Massed Ensemble Performance in the 2019 Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London! The Music for Youth Proms showcase the extraordinary talent from thousands of the UK’s young musicians, creating an unforgettable experience for the groups performing and the audience.

The children taking part in the Norfolk Schools’ Opera Project are invited to join the massed ensemble and perform selected highlights of the brand new opera.
Daisy S: “I had a great day. I enjoyed the whole experience.”

Emilia P: “I really enjoyed singing the words ‘Hallelujah’ really loudly with everyone and it was great fun having lunch in Chapelfield Gardens.”

Connie C: “It was really great fun and definitely worth missing horse riding for!”