Playground Opera Don Jose 2400X900

Playground Opera: The Downfall of Don José

Playground Opera is part of our ongoing programme to make great opera accessible to a younger audience, fully immersing them into the plots and music with participation and preparation. In 2022 we will be touring a specially adapted performance of Bizet’s famous opera, Carmen, into local schools during the summer term.


Based on Bizet's famous opera, Carmen, this specially adapted performance for primary school children is full of rollicking good tunes you'll all recognise, characters you'll never forget and a plot with more twists than a curly wurly.

Yes, the story is dark, (of course.. it's opera) but we will incorporate humour and wisdom as well as a few gory moments to satisfy a child's desire for the macabre.

The plot

Don José is a troubled man. His life has been ruined by the pretty awful choices he has made. People he cared for are no more, his career is over and he is languishing in a dark prison cell with little hope of release. He tells us the story of his life, his love and his jealousy and wonders what might have been if he'd made different decisions...

Learning, creating and performing

The Longborough Education Team (directors, musicians, singers and actors) will spend a full day at your school, unpacking the issues of the story, getting the children to consider their own choices and rewrite the narrative. Your pupils will learn the Children's Chorus as well as the Toreador's Chorus from Carmen and will participate with the professional opera singers in the final show, performed to your school.

Create your own scenery

This year we are offering the option for the children to create their own backdrop - the skyline of 19th Century Seville, or the Sierra Norte (the mountains outside the city.)

We would supply you with a large canvas for you to slosh away at to your heart's content.

If you think this might be something your children would like to do, and you can spare the timetable sessions, then let us know.

We would ask for an extra £30 towards the cost of the materials for this.

Available dates in Summer Term 2022

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17 June

Please let us know a selection of dates that would suit you, to help us with our scheduling.


The show will last about 40 min.

The workshop will take all morning and we'd stage and rehearse after lunch, ready for a performance at the end of the day to as many of your pupils and staff (and parents) as you can fit in.

What we need from you

  • Around 30 pupils, ideally yr 5 upwards for the full day.
  • Workshop space for the morning.
  • Performance space, straight after lunch. This could be the same space as the morning session. We bring in set and costumes in the afternoon.
  • An audience


£95 without 'create your own backdrop' option.

£125 with 'create your own backdrop' option.

If you wish to book a visit, please do get in touch as soon as you can. If possible, please include a selection of dates that would suit you.

Contact Jess May:

Lr 234 Moreton Img 7316 Credit: Image: David Fawbert Photography.

Playground Opera

Find out more about our ongoing programme to make great opera accessible to a younger audience, fully immersing local state schools into the plots and music with participation and preparation.