St Nicks pupils excel as tree chorus with ETO
Woolbrook pupils give impeccable performance on stage at Northcott with English Touring Opera
FIFTEEN Sidmouth schoolchildren gave an impeccable performance when they appeared on stage with members of the English Touring Opera last week.
Pupils from St Nicholas Junior School, Woolbrook, make their stage debut as the ‘all-seeing, all-hearing’ chorus of trees, when they worked alongside professional opera singers in a performance of Fantastic Mr Fox.
The musical setting of Roald Dahl’s classic book was staged at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre last Tuesday as part of a tour by the ETO.
Teacher Helen Baker said: “The children had spent two months giving up much of their free time to learn two technically very difficult songs with their musical director Stephanie Dommett.
You may also want to watch:
“Then, in the two weeks preceding the performance, they attended two workshops, led by conductor Timothy Carey and director Tim Yealland, to prepare them for the performance.”
Before donning their tree costumes – twigs and all – the children were treated to a backstage tour of the theatre and shown their dressing room.
- 1 New owner sought for prominent Sidmouth seafront businesses
- 2 Supermarket chain planning four new stores in East Devon
- 3 Organisers thrilled with super science festival turnout
- 4 Three designer handbags stolen from a shop in Sidmouth
- 5 Woman flown to hospital after fall
- 6 Elusive mackerel still popping up for Devon anglers
- 7 Fundraiser makes brief stop on charity trek
- 8 Pianist set to delight audiences in 50th anniversary season
- 9 Major road repair scheme will reduce patching
- 10 It's official - Devon is one of the most popular places to live
Rehearsals followed the tour, and the youngsters were encouraged to behave more mysterious and tree-like and Tim instructed: “We want tree-arms, and tree-walking… but no tree-talking!”
Not surprisingly nerves began to show during their last rehearsal.
Ms Baker said: “It was their first experience of performing their songs with the backing of a full orchestra and, although their singing was wonderful, they were so awestruck, they forgot to move!”
A few minutes from ‘curtain up’ one child was heard to say: “I was nervous before I got here, but once we’d had our dress rehearsal on the stage, I wasn’t so scared.”
The teacher added: “The children’s behaviour and final performance was impeccable. They certainly were a credit to the school and made the staff who had worked with them, and their parents, very proud.”