Innovative opera project brings QE boys together with girls

A group of Year 8 boys have been making the most of the opportunity to learn more about opera whilst developing their teamwork skills with girls from the North London Collegiate School.

Eight boys have been involved in the joint project with an equal number of Year 8 girls from NLCS. Last term the group went to see a performance of Puccini’s La Bohème at the English National Opera. Shortly after, they experienced the slimmed-down version of the Royal College of Music’s production of Orpheus in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach. The students were given the opportunity to interview most of the cast, the director, the conductor, the technical director and the designer after the show.

“It was a fantastic experience for them,” said QE’s Director of Music, Kieron Howe. “They thoroughly enjoyed the experience of live opera and felt particularly fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to the professionals involved at first-hand. We are very grateful to QE Music teacher Jennifer Brown, who organised it.”""

The project culminated in a visit by the QE boys to NLCS to watch different productions of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte on DVD. The boys and girls were paired in teams and were asked to analyse what they had seen with their partners, then answer a series of questions and complete a series of tasks. Throughout the project the boy/girl teams have also been expected to complete a series of online tasks on the NLCS website.

Mr Howe added: “Our boys learned a great deal not only about opera but also about working in collaboration with other people.”