At Port Melbourne Primary School, the Hon Martin Foley MP, Victorian Minister for the Creative Industries, launched a newly commissioned production for Opera Australia’s 2018 Victorian Schools Tour, helping mark 21 years since this vital outreach program began.
Launched during Victorian Education Week, which this year focuses on “Celebrating the Arts”, the 2018 Victorian Schools Tour demonstrates a commitment to creating new opportunities for young people to experience the joy of live music and performance.
Recognising the huge impact that music has on childhood learning and development, Opera Australia has continued to run the Victorian Schools Tour every year since 1997, delivering live performances to almost 600,000 students in Victoria and more than 1.3 million students nationally during that time.
“For more than two decades, the Opera Australia Schools Tour has introduced young Victorians to opera and given Opera Australia the chance to learn from some of our most creative community members–young people,” said Minister Foley.
Following the success of the 2016 Victorian Schools Tour production of El Kid, Opera Australia has reunited this wonderful creative team to create another brand new work devised especially for Opera Australia.
This new work is supported by curriculum-based teachers’ resource material to engage young people in the world of opera.
“Opera Australia is committed to developing new works with Australian artists and creators, and we are delighted to be bringing this original production to Victorian schools this year,” said Opera Australia CEO Rory Jeffes.
Based on Edward Lear’s enduringly popular poem The Owl and the Pussycat, By the Light of the Moon is a fully staged 50 minute musical comedy–for ‘all ages opera’–which combines this enchanting story with the greatest hits of opera to offer young people a magical insight into both art forms.
Travelling to over 75 schools across regional and metropolitan Victoria –as far as Wangaratta in the east and Hamilton in the west–and reaching over 20,000 children annually,the Schools Tour represents an important initiative by Opera Australia to provide primary school students with the opportunity to experience live performance.
An integral part of the Tour is the inclusion of Auslan Shadow Interpreted performances, which will take place in Victorian schools from July. Opera Australia is one of the first performing arts companies to pioneer this practise, which integrates the interpreters into the live performance, enabling children who are Deaf or hard of hearing to more fully experience the joy of live music and theatre.