Playground Opera

There can be no more joyous and artistic and educational experience... I left afterwards feeling my life had been enhanced

Midlands Music Reviews ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Hansel & Gretel 2021

Playground Opera is Longborough Festival Opera's project to bring opera into schools. During 2021, our small-scale production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel visited 14 state schools across the surrounding counties, reaching over 1,400 children aged 5-14.

Designed for outdoor playground performances, this vibrant production was a Covid-proof way to bring back opera – music, storytelling, dance and drama – into schools and re-engage children in the social, cultural and health benefits of singing together.

In each school, a workshop used singing, composing, dancing and stagecraft to introduce the opera, complemented by resources for teachers to provide further ways to engage the children.

Workshops were followed by a 45-minute interactive performance of the opera. The music was been abridged and arranged specially for school audiences and performed by a team of trained Emerging Artists and versatile instrumentalists.

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

Image: David Fawbert Photography

It smashed my preconceptions of opera

student, aged 10

Director/Story Teller Maria Jagusz
Producer/MD Jess May
Choreography Lowri Shone
Designer Harry Pizzey

Accordion Miloš Milivojević/Dordje Gajic
Violin Fenner Curtis

Hansel Marienella Phillips
Gretel Rebecca Silverman
Dew Fairy & Sand Man Eleanor Broomfield
Witch on Skates Daniel Jagusz-Holley

Stage Crew Sarah Plowright, Aaron Bixley, Tori Cansdale, Jude Bixley Plowright
Video Production Alex Crisp

Music Englebert Humperdinck (abridged version)
English translation David Pountney
Dialogue Maria Jagusz and Jessica May

Lr 325 Moreton Img 7611 Credit: Image: David Fawbert Photography.

Image: David Fawbert Photography