As our 2017 Season comes to a close, we chatted to our Inspire Coordinator, Lucy Curtis, about all the amazing work we’ve been doing in the community this summer as part of our Inspire outreach and education programme. Here she lists some of her personal highlights:
The Alice workshops have been brilliant this year – we have seen some of the sassiest Queens of Hearts, a French sleepy dormouse, a gurgling eyeball and a strictly-operated jam tart machine. Children, carers and teachers alike have participated in our educational workshops, singing, stomping, clapping and jumping, before watching the performance unfurl on stage.
Red Cross Insight Day
We welcomed two groups of refugees to the theatre for two Insight Days in July. The groups were phenomenal and soaked in every aspect of the theatre. From getting to know our singers in a Q&A (did you know they speak several languages?), to exploring the wigs department (where we stumbled across a Red Queen in makeup), to exploring the set and taking a bow on stage, the groups’ enthusiasm was evident. The cherry on the cake? Watching our singers perform for the groups on stage! The resounding message that stuck with us all was that, despite not understanding the language (the music was in Italian), the emotion and feeling was clear. Music unites us all; in opera, we are all equal!
Opera for Thought
A 6-week project for those living with dementia, culminating in a backstage tour, costume demonstration, lunch and Don Giovanni matinee performance. A fitting end to a fantastic project; the group celebrated their journey together with their new friends and OHP. A resounding moment to me was the gratitude we received, with one participant exclaiming ‘you are all angels’, and another she felt accepted by the company: ‘There are so many orchestras and operas in London but you’ve made me understand that this one is for me and open to me learning’. Find out more about Opera for Thought here.
Relaxed Performance of Alice
Every year we put on a Relaxed Performance of Alice, welcoming children with special needs and their families to attend a performance in a relaxed atmosphere. The feeling at the relaxed performance this year was pure, ecstatic joy – despite an unwelcome burst of rain! Children were enthralled by the pre-performance touch tour, story and characters and immersed in the whole experience. One child, after having photos taken with all the characters, skipped away exclaiming, ‘This is so much better than the National Trust!’ That really made me smile…
To find out more about Opera Holland Park’s Inspire programme, please click here.