Hansel and Gretel

Rochdale Music Service & The Royal Opera House

From the Rochdale Music Service:

The Hansel and Gretel project is part of the Royal Opera House National Schools Programme and this is the first year that Rochdale Music Service have run the programme here in Rochdale. The project began with 21 Primary schools expressing an interest to be involved and then attending a CPD training day which was run by RMS staff and also involved one of the performers, Ben Knight, from The Royal Opera.

After inspiring the teachers who attended the CPD launch day, staff went back to their schools to begin to teach the children the songs and also to create drama pieces for 2 of the 8 scenes which make up the performance.

RMS staff were on hand to support the schools as needed and about 10 weeks later over 600 children were excited as they arrived at The Curtain Theatre to perform in one of 5 shows of Hansel and Gretel.

The Curtain Theatre was the perfect venue for this project and RMS staff were wonderfully supported by excellent theatre staff and volunteers across the 3rd, 4th and 6th July, with 2 shows per day and having 4 schools involved in each performance. After just an hour or so direction, with Joanna Astley the RMS Vocal Lead, what had been separate schools rehearsing individually, magically came together as 5 wonderful performances, each telling the same story, but each unique in the way the children had interpreted their scenes.

This year’s project has now finished on a high, but we’re already looking forward to next year when Rochdale Schools will be performing The magic Flute.