Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Inspires Chester Life Stages Project

Posted on March 14, 2013

Vivaldi’s ever-popular Four Seasons has proved the inspiration for an imaginative new learning project in Chester called Life Stages.  During eight days of workshops students from seven Chester Primary Schools worked alongside Camerata musicians Janet Fulton and Hannah McCabe, composer Andy Smith and dramatist Paul Hine to create their own mini opera based upon the different stages of life.

The project also involved PGCE students and local residents who shared their personal experiences to reflect on key moments in their lives.  The impetus behind the project came from a series of concerts Manchester Camerata gave during February which featured Vivaldi’s masterwork.  Participants used short samples of Vivaldi’s work as the basis of their composition, as well as creating their own original music and lyrics.

The culmination of the project was a full scale performance to parents and friends of the mini opera, entitled ‘Fullness of Time’ at Chester Cathedral on the 23rd January.  One of the participating teachers, Mrs Sowerby from St Theresa’s Catholic Primary’ commented afterwards, ‘the end result was fantastic and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves’.  Her pupil Caleb described the project as ‘one of the best things I have ever done’.

The Chester Life Stages project has been supported by the Philip Barker Trust.