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On June 17th, more than 120 students from four Carlow national schools took to the stage at the Visual Arts Centre in Carlow to perform their very own opera compositions. The POpera project, designed by Hilda Milner from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in collaboration with Music Generation Carlow and Irish National Opera, was designed to give students an introduction to opera and empower them to explore their own vocal instruments and compositional creativity.
Led by composer and conductor Andrew Synnott, with director Davey Kelleher each school devised a libretto based on one of the four seasons to be acted out by two singers from Irish National Opera - spring represented childhood, summer depicted youth, autumn for middle age and finally, winter for old age.
We asked some of the children how the experience made them feel:
“It made me feel powerful like I could play anything”
“It made me feel like the star of the show”
“Performing in an opera made me feel more confident”
“I felt so proud that I can play the violin and sing”
Many thanks to Hilda Milner, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Music Generation Carlow, Andrew Synnott, Davey Kelliher, Joan O’Malley, David Howes and all the children and staff at Drumphea NS, Kildavin NS, Scoil Mhuire gan Smál and Bennekerry NS.