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Bringing Opera into Schools

This week has seen me concentrating on the educative project Etoiles et Voix that has been set up by the Réseau de Musiciens en Ateliers

Etoiles et Voix is a project that runs alongside this year’s Queen Elisabeth Competition for Voice in Belgium, and introduces primary school children to opera arias that are to be sung by the competitors. 

In particular, I have been trying my hand at arranging Benjamin Britten’s Embroidery Aria (from Peter Grimes) for two-part unaccompanied children’s chorus.  This has proved challenging not least because :

  • Britten likes to change key quite a bit;
  • his time-signature just refuses to stay consistent;
  • the vocal range he requires is challenging…

I remain undaunted, however, and am greatly looking forward to my chance to get Brussels primary school children – of so many different social and cultural backgrounds – singing opera!

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