ABC of Opera | Opera for growing minds

“BBC Cardiff Singer of the World represent classical singing at the very highest international level, and it`s no exaggeration to say that ABC of Opera lives up to that standard”

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

ABC of Opera workshops are fun, frivolous, friendly and rewarding for children KS1-2 [6-11 years of age] encompassing a range of subjects across the curriculum and helping develop confidence, stagecraft, concentration and imagination, whilst performing alongside soloists from our National Opera companies.

We take you on an interactive journey as you are introduced to the magical world of opera, with stories and music that offer children an exciting and memorable experience. Together we uncover 500-years starting in the land of pizza and pasta whilst meeting the  “ABC” (Academy of Barmy Composer) The ABC of Opera initiative mentored by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and David Jackson Artistic Director for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World has delivered to 32 schools across the UK plus the first family opera day for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. To date 1680 children have been ABCed  and the majority are asking for more,

Groups of up to 40 pupils engage in a performance led approach to the quirks and foibles of the great operatic composers. The content and approach demands and delivers exceptional pupil participation, this is led by 3 inspirational professional performers. The ABC of Opera learning journey links world history, geography and social developments against a backdrop of music and fun. Curriculum links to aural and literacy which are the core, although most aspects of the curriculum are covered. In one school opera has become the Spring Term 2017 theme to cover all subjects. This includes number, language, design and creative writing.

The skills stretched ABC include listening and performing, pupils engage as individuals and as groups, quickly adapting to the pace and challenge of the program. Classroom teachers are surprised at the energy and enthusiasm the program releases in pupils of all abilities. A particular example was the quality of engagement achieved in a special school ASD group.


     Purpose and Aims | ABC of Opera


  • To make opera accessible to all children, non pretentious and without elitism.
  • Offer the means to introduce opera to a much wider audience.
  • Educate about opera through the current curriculum.
  • Bring the power of classical music to young people.
  • Nurture imagination and personal creative expression through interactive elements of the project.
  • Offer the thought-provoking morals within each of the stories within a modern context.
  • Give some insight into the historical and cultural significance of the stories.
  • Make learning fun, build personal skills, build confidence, nurture imagination and creativity

The pilot project for this exciting project 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 ABC with open arms. Throughout my week on the island I could hear Mozart being sung by children of all ages. Opera is the most complete art form and so we need to introduce our next generation to it in an exciting way’

Founder & Creative Director  Mark Llewelyn Evans 

We would be delighted to discuss how we can bring ABC of Opera to your school, group or organisation.

To receive a PDF containing further information about this project, please get in touch using the form below. We are more than happy to answer any queries you might have about this project.

What they think about ABC.

The views of pupils and teachers are universally positive. Perhaps the most valuable impact of a day full of fun, learning and laughter is that pupils want to learn more. This is an exciting initiative and a powerful learning experience for pupils and teaching staff.

“I’m so pleased ABC came to our school, I just hope that the UK government can see the impact ABC is having and the importance of the arts in education”

Sarah Cottle Headmistress Sark Primary School

“An inspirational project that engaged even the most reluctant child and brought out the best in each pupil. We have achieved more than we could have imagined thanks to ABC of Opera.”

Paul Adams, Headmaster – St Nicolas’ C of E Primary School

“ABC of Opera has a unique way to deliver an art form that is often seen as elite. Their strength is engendering a love of music in children through participating”

Guildhall School of music and Drama

 “Providing powerful historical messages, easily identifiable imagery, and a sense of place in the context of worldwide social and political change. This is a most remarkable education day.”

Bryan Jeffreys, Director Education Workforce Development Wales Ltd

 “Whilst working as lead strategic adviser in the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service I discovered ABC of opera. ABC is like no other project in the United Kingdom. It really does engage children with opera”

Steven Richards-Downes Deputy Chief Education Officer for Pembrokeshire

 “Awesome day…. I love opera”

Boris Year 5 Pupil Albert Primary School, Penarth

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