School creates an 
opera from scratch

Brave enough to be Yourself SUS-140207-083215001
Brave enough to be Yourself SUS-140207-083215001

Helenswood Academy is now one week away from the highly anticipated exclusive performance of ‘Brave enough to be Yourself’ an opera completely composed by it’s 300 pupils involved.

The whole school is involved in the appropriately named ‘Speaking from Song Opera Company’, including the staff.

The project manager and enthusiastic music teacher at the school Liz Mason said: “It has been very inspiring to work with students wanting to run their own company.

“The libretto and orchestration is entirely produced by the students with support from the teachers, and the work they have produced is exceptional, proving that Helenswood really is passionate about this.”

The story follows a feisty suffragette of World War I, who is fighting for the rights in London. Her deepest desire is to fight for her country, but as a woman this is not allowed.

However, upon meeting a young man (who could easily pass a medical check!) she embarks on a journey with a very uncertain ending.

Currently the company has been financed by generous donations of various charities including the support of the Royal Opera House, although the school still needs funding in several areas.

Helen Hitchin, an art teacher at Helenswood, commented: “Following our trip to the Royal Opera House Design Studio, where we saw props and sets being designed and made, students had a session with a creative director to make set designs. Through lessons and an after school making club students have designed and made the set and props, practised and planned out the stage make-up, lighting and organised the costumes.

“The work of the opera is being documented, and with all the work put in the performance should be something worth waiting for.”

The student music director said “the people in the company are very committed, which is what makes the whole thing work.

“It’s a massive experience that I am really enjoying!”

Brave Enough to be Yourself is on Thursday 10th & Friday 11th July 2014 at Helenswood Upper School, Hastings.

Adults £5 & Students £2.50.