This custom-designed schools tour production is supported by teachers’ resource material to engage young audiences. The performance allows students the chance to experience professional opera in their classroom, as well as the opportunity to interact with singers and musicians during a Q&A after the show.
This year’s tour will also celebrate the 10th Anniversary of OA’s Auslan Shadow Interpreting program that incorporates performances in schools with Deaf and hard of hearing children across regional and metropolitan Victoria. In the week-long Auslan Shadow Interpreting season the interpreter is in costume and on the stage, joining with the other characters to become part of the show. The program allows OA to connect with and cater for diverse audiences with different needs, providing them with the best live performance experience possible.
Opera Australia CEO Mr Rory Jeffes emphasised the importance of ensuring audiences from all generations and geographical locations in Australia are provided with ongoing opportunities to enjoy opera. “Opera Australia’s Schools Tour is one of many initiatives we have designed to encourage people of all ages, especially children, to engage with opera as an exciting form of entertainment and career prospect. We are thrilled to celebrate 10 years of Auslan Shadow Interpreting performances and hope to inspire young Victorian students to embrace what opera has to offer.”
The Hon Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries, supports OA’s commitment to make opera accessible to younger generations and highlights the responsibility of proactively strengthening the relationship between leading national arts companies and the wider community.
“The ability to think creatively is a vital skill at any age. By taking top-quality performances into school environments, Opera Australia is helping to inspire our next generation of creative and community leaders,” said Minister Foley.
OA recognises the significant impact that music has on childhood learning and development shown by numerous studies and has continued to run the Victorian Schools Tour annually for more than four decades. In this time, OA has delivered live performances to more than 2.4 million students nationally. This production of The Barber of Seville first premiered in 2001, and will have completed approximately 1,500 performances by the end of its 2020 season. OA also recently announced Bloomberg as a new supporting partner of the Schools Tour Program, permitting the tour to expand and visit more than 55,000 schoolchildren in NSW and VIC this year.