La Cenerentola—OA's real Cinderella touring school

La Cenerentola—OA's real Cinderella touring school
Victoria Hope

On Friday 27 February, Opera Australia launched the Cinderella tour at Marrickville West Primary School, before more than 300 children.

Every year, Opera Australia adapts an opera for a six-month tour through NSW, entertaining and delighting school children with infectious music and fun theatrics.

This is the first of many performances in primary schools throughout Sydney and regional NSW from Bondi Junction to Mount Druitt and Mittagong, from March to September 2015.

This version of Cinderella is a specially adapted 50 minute version of Rossini’s opera,La Cenerentola. In this story, Cindy is playing with her stepbrother Simon and stepsister Simone along with Rolan from next door. Together the children devise a new story ofCinderella, incorporating some of the things that everyone knows and loves, as well as some surprises! With its madcap antics, cunning disguises and all sorts of crazy confusion, this version of Rossini’s wonderfully entertainingCinderella is a perfect introduction to opera for young audiences.

Opera Australia has been touring to primary schools in NSW and Victoria since 1998, performing to well over one million students. More than just a strategy to encourage new audiences, the company aims to show people of all ages, especially children, that opera comes in all shapes and sizes.

In 2015 in NSW, Opera Australia will perform Cinderella over 250 times in more than 180 primary schools to more than 45,000 children. Teachers are sent Education Kits about the performance beforehand, so even though the children might think they know the story already, they get an introduction to this version, as well as some of the music.

As an integral part of its education program, Opera Australia also develops and presents Auslan Shadow Interpreted performances. This will happen part way through the season. As one of Australia’s first performing arts companies to develop and master this technique, the interpreters are integrated into the onstage action, making them part of the cast for the entire audience to enjoy, as well as making a vital contribution to the level of engagement for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Executive ProducerTouring & Outreach Sandra Willis said, "Opera Australia prides itself on engaging some of Australia's finest emerging singers to perform on our Schools Tours. These productions provide a wonderful opportunity for children all around New South Wales to experience the magic of Opera and live performance in their own school."

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