In Autumn 2021, the ENO Engage team delivered a series of ‘Introduction to opera’ singing and movement workshops, inspired by The Cunning Little Vixen for children and young people aged 9-19, from across local ENO Partner schools and our Youth Programme.
The project aimed to help enable children and young people to discover more about their own creative potential, develop new skills, confidence and improve self-esteem; all through the power of opera.
We used this immersive introduction to opera as a springboard to cast 24 of these children and young people in the mainstage production, offering them the opportunity to rehearse and perform alongside professional singers, musicians and actors, and to work with professional directors, artists and technicians.
The Cunning Little Vixen marks one of the first occasions the ENO has cast children directly from local schools. We are thrilled to be using ENO Engage pathways to champion non-traditional casting routes; providing a unique opportunity to work with professionals on the world-famous Coliseum stage, and enabling us as a company to reach performers from different backgrounds across the local community, particularly those who might never have come across opera before.
The schools took part in further activities in the lead up to the production and attended the performance to support and celebrate the achievements of their fellow pupils, whilst also experiencing opera for the first time.
“We are delighted to be able to partner with the English National Opera on this production of The Cunning Little Vixen. Our pupils have really enjoyed the challenge of getting to grips with being in a full-scale professional production, and have grown in confidence through the rehearsal period.”
Mrs Hannah Legg, Year 6 Teacher, All Souls C of E Primary School