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Go Figaro!

by Rhian Hutchings, Jun 1, 2017

Go Figaro! is an opera-writing project based on Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ created in collaboration with Iford Arts and Bristol Plays Music.

Following on from the successful 2016 MacQuest project based on Verdi’s Macbeth, this project will see over 90 Year 5 children from three urban primary schools in Bristol, Bath and Trowbridge come together in a visit to Iford Manor for an ‘adventure day’ during their summer production of The Barber of Seville on 23rd June.

Go Figaro! aims to encourage creative thinking by stimulating the children to create their own mini ‘operas’, or pieces of music theatre.

The project begins with an adventure day, bringing all schools together to meet the famous barber Figaro, hear him sing, and start their journey as Figaro’s ‘apprentice hairdressers’.  In order to join Figaro’s, “Snip and Snoop” Salon they must first uncover the stories of some of its clients, who are clearly keeping secrets! They must also learn the Snip and Snoop Hairdressing Song. But can they impress Figaro enough to find out who Lindoro is?

Led by director Rhian Hutchings, composer Richard Barnard and baritone Martin Le Poidevin, each school will create their own mini-opera over 3 days.

Children will explore how all the elements of creating opera come together, developing text, narrative and a character, working together to create a libretto, setting the words, and finally staging the finished opera.

The three schools will come back together on 23rd June at Iford Manor to perform to each other. If they pass the task and become fully-fledged members of the Snip and Snoop team, then they can find out who Lindoro really is by watching selected scenes from ‘The Barber of Seville’ performed by Charles Court Opera in the stunning cloister.