I have developed ABC of Opera as a part of a quest to engage with children of all ages. The performing arts are for everyone and the impact they have on us all is truly remarkable. Having sung title roles for many of the National Opera companies I have, from day one been as passionate about nurturing grassroots as performing. This led to me training as an animateur and special needs tutor so I could further these aims. So from my first contract with the Welsh National Opera almost 20 years ago I have also been taking projects to schools of all types around the country including Cardiff, Swansea, Liverpool, Oxford, Llandudno and beyond.
My mum strongly believed that developing the imagination often started in the theatre. Even though she was ‘just’ a hairdresser her dedication not only lead her to saving a theatre from demolition but also being included in the Queen’s honours list and awarded an MBE for her impact on Youth theatre. So inspired by her incredible efforts, armed with my knowledge, experience and love for the arts ABC of Opera was born.
The pilot project for ABC of Opera happened at the inaugurate opera festival on the island of Sark in 2015. I was determined to make the festival completely inclusive ensuring that the children would be catered for as equally well as the hardened opera lover. The primary school on the island has around 30 children from age 4- 16 and I’m proud to say that each child embraced my opera day with open arms. Throughout my week on the island I could hear Mozart being sung by children at all different locations which I must say gave me huge job satisfaction as well as making me realise that the main land needed for Opera to made much more accessible in schools too.
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