Opera Squad Takeover days – English National Opera (ENO)

In Autumn 2019, ENO’s Opera Squad Takeover days launched year-long residencies in four secondary schools in Liverpool: The Academy of St Nicholas, The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Archbishop Beck Catholic College and King Leadership Academy. The takeover days introduced opera and ENO to the whole school community, helping raise the profile of the arts in the school. During the takeover the whole school experienced the thrill of live performance up close, with opportunities for pupils across the school to engage with opera and develop their skills through participatory music and drama workshops. ENO also ran a Teacher CPD session, expanding their reach to other secondary school teachers in Liverpool.

Opera Squad at Academy of St Nicholas, Liverpool

‘I can have conversations now with pupils and say that if you have a dream or an ambition and you work hard, you can become an expert at something that you may never have thought about.’

Head teacher

The ENO Baylis education team will continue to work with these four schools across the academic year: in March 2020 ENO will be delivering day-long theatre design, creative writing and composition workshops, plus Teacher CPD; in June we will deliver day-long singing and performance workshops in each school plus another Teacher CPD session. Students will also have the opportunity to meet industry professionals including, directors, writers, composers, singers, stage management, technicians and costume dressers. ENO tailor all their creative workshops to the needs and interests of each school and they aim to: promote the widening of cultural horizons; encourage creativity in teaching and learning; nurture skills across a broad range of disciplines; and expose students to career paths within the theatre and opera industry.

‘You have introduced a number of children to a cultural experience they may never get the chance to experience. The fact that many students attempted to sing throughout the corridors and in the playground was a testament of how impactful the arts can be.’

Teacher

‘It was highly interactive and engaged the students in a way that I haven’t seen other projects manage to.’

Head teacher