Webster Primary Pupils Create Mini Opera Based On Holocaust

Posted on March 14, 2013

Pupils from Webster Primary School in Moss Side recently worked with members of Manchester Camerata on an ambitious and ground-breaking cross-curricular arts project exploring the theme of the Holocaust.  The three day arts project built on a visit to the National Holocaust Centre and is a development of their Horrors of War Learning Scheme.

Horrors of War from Manchester Camerata on Vimeo.

Using the story of Terezin camp as a starting point, pupils from Year 6 explored the holocaust from the victim perspective to create a semi-staged mini opera describing life pre-war, the journey to Terezin, the experience of camp life for inmates and post war life for the survivors.

Working with flautist Amina Hussain and violinist Gemma Bass, plus composer Andy Smith and Dramatist Paul Hine, the Webster Primary School pupils explored the topic by developing their own narrative, writing their own lyrics, designing their own drama and composing their own music.  Throughout the project they gained an understanding of how local people managed daily during wartime and how this compared to their own lives today.

The three day project culminated in a performance of the mini-opera at the school.  Post-performance Headteacher Jeremy Jackson applauded the outstanding achievements of all the children who had taken part and said that the project had ‘really boosted the culture of performance at the school’ and Y6 teacher Miss Dawber praised the Camerata members describing them as ‘amazingly talented, creative people who brought the best out in our children’.

Manchester Camerata’s ongoing partnership wtih Webster Primary School will continue in the Spring term with a project entitled ‘Portrait of Place’.