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A night at the opera comes to classrooms

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Primary school students in Victoria will be able to have an intimate look at one of our better regarded operatic companies as Victorian Opera launches its new digital education series Access All Areas: Hansel and Gretel Livestream Program.

Students will be treated to a live performance as well as a look at all the activity behind the scenes; the rehearsal room, orchestra preparations and what happens before the curtain goes up, giving them first-hand experience of what it takes to bring an opera to the stage.

Launching on Friday 18 May, students and teachers will join the company for a series of four forty-five-minute interactive livestreamed workshops surrounding Victorian Opera’s production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

The program culminates with students watching the production live at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse on 7 and 8 June or streamed direct to their classroom; depending on how close they are to the venue.

Hosted by music educator Angus Grant, students will learn about: what makes opera unique; hear the difference between various voice types; gain a deeper understanding of Hansel and Gretel by getting to know the characters, director and creative team; identify various musical instruments that make up an orchestra and witness how a set is constructed on stage.

Access All Areas: Hansel and Gretel Livestream Program is supported by curriculum-aligned classroom resources with tailored activities. Each workshop will also be available on-demand. The program is made possible by funding from the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training through the Strategic Partnerships Program.

Elizabeth Hill, the director of Hansel and Gretel and Victorian Opera’s Executive Producer and Artistic Associate, highlights: “Victorian Opera has explored the possibilities of livestreaming across many years and now embarks on our biggest and most ambitious project yet. Access All Areas: Hansel and Gretel Livestream Program gives students from across Victoria an opportunity to build their awareness and understanding of opera; learning about what makes it unique and what makes it wonderful.”

Hill added: “Victorian Opera is proud to expand our Education Program in such an exciting way. Music and performance bring so much joy and we’re thrilled to share an in-depth look at our work with primary school students from across the state.”

Access All Areas: Hansel and Gretel Livestream Program marks Victorian Opera’s fifth streamed project in the past two years. It follows on from Three Tales in October 2017, where viewers previewed three new works currently in development; a free and on-demand concert of Bellini's La Sonnambula via online performance database OperaVision; exclusive subscriber concert The Darkest Night; and the company's Season 2017 launch.


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