Issue date: 10 July 2003

ISSUE DATE: 10/07/03

Nearly two hundred primary school children in Bristol are involved in an exciting musical project with the Centre for Performing Arts at the University of the West of England.

The University is to stage four performances of Benjamin Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde in Bristol Cathedral this autumn. The production will feature professional singers, UWE students, choristers from Bristol Cathedral, students from the Old Vic Theatre School as well as 180 primary school children from Bristol.

Ruth Snary, who is one of the show’s producers explains, “The children have been recruited from six schools to represent the animals that go into the ark. As well as performing on stage all 180 children are being invited to the University’s Faculty of Education at Frenchay Campus to take part in a ‘Mask-making’ day where they will make the masks which will be used in the final stage performance. Students who are training to be teachers will help the children design and paint the masks on 11 September.”

The children will learn the music at their schools and each give two performances at Bristol Cathedral on the 22, 23, 24 and 25 of October. Ruth says this is an excellent opportunity for the children to work with experienced musicians, “The children will have the opportunity to perform with musicians in the wonderful setting of the historic Cathedral under the experienced baton of the conductor Peter Stark who is an honorary doctor of the University and Professor of Conducting at Trinity College of Music.

“The University does not have practical drama or music courses but offers marvellous opportunities, such as Noye’s Fludde to its students. Many children today do not have the opportunity to learn the classical repertoire in their schools and the university is pleased to give them the chance to experience this genre.”

Bristol Prison is also helping with the project as the inmates are constructing the all-important Ark in the prison workshop. The university is grateful to the Governor for his assistance.

Editor’s notes

The University is happy to arrange photo opportunities with schools or Faculty of Education mask making.

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