Over the summer 2019 the Southwold Music Trust facilitated a major children’s music education and performance initiative, known as ‘Snappy Operas’, in three local schools: Southwold Primary, Reydon Primary, and Saint Felix Prep School.
Throughout the summer term 2019 a team of three leading musical and theatrical educators visited each school on a regular basis, teaching singing, acting and other creative and artistic skills to a total of 64 children. These children then gave performances of their own Snappy Opera, which is a mini-opera for young people lasting about ten minutes, each with a full set design, props, costumes, and accompaniment buy a professional instrumental ensemble. The operas ranged in subject matter from an opera about birds, tourists and bakers squabbling over cake, a piece about the impact of machines and technology on the environment, and a group of mice birds and sausages cooking up an extraordinary meal.
The children’s hard work culminated in a public performance on Saturday June 29th 2019, 2pm, in the Southwold Arts Festival, to a thrilled and delighted audience. Prior to this the children also performed their chosen operas to their classmates and teachers in their own schools, making the total audience number who heard the children perform a massive 394!
- ‘It was utterly wonderful, I had tears streaming down my face just seeing the kids enjoying themselves so much!’ (school parent).
- ‘It was really amazing… The children really loved it and we have had nothing but praise from parents and locals.’ (school teacher)
- ‘Wow! What a wonderful afternoon. Both schools were brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed it… It was a fantastic experience for the children. We would certainly like to continue working with you.’ (head teacher)
- ‘Thank you to you and the team for giving your time up for the children.’ (school teacher)
Already the legacy of Snappy Operas has been significant, with a regular singing group now taking place every week in Southwold Primary as a consequence of this project.
Snappy Operas was funded by generous donations from a number of local trusts and charities. These included: The Music Sales Charitable Trust, The Southwold Trust, The Reydon Trust, Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund, The Paisley Charitable Trust, The Adnams Community Foundation, and the many private donors who have contributed to the Southwold Music Trust since its founding, which allowed us to underwrite the project. Our sincere thanks to the Mahogany Opera Group, not only for devising and commissioning all the Snappy Operas in the first place, but also for generously allowing the schools to use the online resources and creative ideas associated with each opera.
Thank you to all our supporters, the musicians and production managers who worked so hard to stage the project, and above all to all the children for their fabulous performances!