This morning the two primary schools, Lee Manor Primary School and St Margaret’s Lee C of E Primary School, and the two special schools, Charlton Park Academy and Greenvale School, had their first taste of this year’s Blackheath Halls Opera, Rossini’s The Adventures of Count Ory.
Keith Murray, General Manager of Blackheath Halls, welcomed everyone to the project and Rose Ballantyne, Project Manager of Blackheath Halls Opera, then introduced the schools and the creative team: Director Harry Fehr, Musical Director Nicholas Jenkins, Assistant Director Jack Furness, Assistant Musical Director Jeremy Cooke, Designer Max Dorey and Costume Supervisor Felicity Langthorne.
Director Harry Fehr took over and explained the story of The Adventures of Count Ory. Harry used signs with the names of the main characters and asked groups of children to act out certain key scenes. This really helped us understand the story and how the main characters were related to each other.
We then had a well deserved break in the cafe/bar before the second half of the session, in which Harry showed pictures of the setting of the opera and a model box. There was also a series of slides of costumes and Harry explained the scenes in which the schools would be performing.
Everyone was really paying attention to what Harry said and good questions were asked about the setting of the opera, the children’s roles and their costumes.
The session ended with Nicholas Jenkins leading a warming up session, so that we felt like proper opera singers, and then we all sang some lines of the schools’ scenes. Lots of enthusiastic singing already!
The pupils will now have rehearsals with the creative team in their own schools before returning to Blackheath Halls in July for the full scale rehearsals with the other members of the cast.