Bridgewater Canal Is Inspiration For School Children’s Opera

Posted on November 10, 2014

Our project with schools in Salford, creating an opera using the Bridgewater Canal as inspiration is in full flow.

Read the article from Manchester Evening News, and discover what they’ve been up to so far.

Bridgewater Canal Project

Epic love, treachery, and war, have inspired the world’s greatest operas – and now a canal.

Six Salford primary schools are writing and staging their own opera and the thrilling arias and choruses will tell the story of the city’s historic Bridgewater Canal.

About 600 pupils will work with musicians, a composer and dramatist from Manchester Camerata to create three original performances about the past, present and future of the pioneering waterway, opened in 1761, which played a key part in the Industrial Revolution.

The project is part of the council’s four-year plan to regenerate the canal with the help of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A total of £5.5m is being spent.

Deputy City Mayor Coun David Lancaster said: “The Bridgewater Canal was unique and pioneering – so what better way to celebrate that than giving children the chance to create and perform a brand new opera?

“It’s about bringing the canal’s history alive and introducing a whole new audience to its amazing stories. Primary schools from across the canal are pairing up for each opera and we are aiming to get older members of these schools’ communities to get involved too – including any grandparents who have hidden talents.”

Nick Ponsillo, Manchester Camerata’s Head of Learning and Participation said: “Working with Camerata’s professional musicians and composers to develop lyrics, melodies and drama is a fantastic way for children to learn and develop new confidence and skills.”
Bridgewater Canal Project
“The children will explore the real life stories and personalities of the people who made the canal to create the characters in their operas, and will even help design sets and create costumes. At the end of the project all three performances will be put together to create a film telling the whole story of the canal.”

Pupils from St Mark’s CE primary school and the Bridgewater School will stage a performance, about the canal’s past at the University of Salford in November 14.

In February and March pupils from Westwood Park primary school, Eccles, and St Andrew’s CE primary school Boothstown will perform the second part about the canal as it is today.

In March performances about the future of the canal from pupils at Beech Street primary school and Godfrey Ermen Memorial CE primary school, both in Eccles, will be staged.

Neal Keeling, Manchester Evening News, 8 November 2014

Read the full article