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Magic Flute The Anvil Theatre National Portrait Gallery Brentfield Primary School

Magic Flute


Participating Schools: Coppetts Wood Primary, Barnet; Manorside Primary, Barnet; Woodhill Primary, Greenwich; Weston Park Junior, Haringey; Bruce Grove Primary, Haringey; Hornsey Secondary School for Girls, Haringey; Alexandra Park Secondary, Haringey; Strand on the Green Primary, Hounslow; Active Learning Nursery, Islington; Albion Primary Southwark; English Martyrs Primary, Southwark; Bonneville Primary, Lambeth; King's Avenue Primary, Lambeth; Torridon Junior, Lewisham; Hollydale Primary, Southwark; Kingsdale Secondary, Southwark; Sacred Heart RC Secondary, Southwark; Snowsfields Primary, Southwark; St Francis RC Primary, Southwark; St. Michael's RC Secondary, Southwark; Townsend Primary, Southwark; Waverley Secondary, Southwark; Christ Church Bentinck Primary, Westminster; Abbey Nursery, Barking and Dag; All Saints Secondary, Barking and Dag; Barking College, Barking and Dag; Barking Abbey Secondary, Barking and Dag; Five Elms Primary, Barking and Dag; Gascoigne Primary, Barking and Dag; Godwin Primary, Barking and Dag; Leys Primary, Barking and Dag; Rush Green Infants, Barking and Dag; Seagulls Nursery, Barking and Dag; Southwood Primary, Barking and Dag; St Margaret's Primary, Barking and Dag; St Peter's Primary, Barking and Dag; Sydney Russell Secondary, Barking and Dag; The St Teresa Catholic Primary, Barking and Dag; Thomas Arnold, Primary, Barking and Dag; Trinity SEN, Barking and Dag; Valence Infants, Barking and Dag; Wellgate Nursery, Barking and Dag; Aldersbrook Primary, Redbridge; Cleveland Junior, Redbridge; Mossford Green Primary, Redbridge.
Cast Allison Bell (Queen of the Night); Elizabeth Menezes , Jane Harrington, Caroline Childe (Pamina); Darren Fox (Tamino); Giles Davies, Simon Thorpe (Papageno); Julian Close (Sarastro); Kate Paterson (Queen of the Night); Mark Ashmore (Sarastro); Richard Edgar-Wilson (Tamino); Neil Kagan (Puppeteer).
Orchestra: EPOC Orchestra: Duncan Robertson (piano and accordion); Helen Paskins (Clarinets); Kai Hoffmann (Horn); Louise Chapman (Flute, Bassoon); and Vanessa Lucas-Smith (Cello).
Animateurs Jo Allitt, Laura Hilliard (Drama Workshop Leaders); Lisa Viklund, Ruth Paton, Sabrina Smith (Art Workshop Leaders); David Eaton (Pianist); Zara Nunn, Michael Roulston (Music Workshop Leaders).
Artistic Team Sian Edwards (Guest Conductor); Mark Tinkler (Director); Annabel Lee (Designer); Duncan Robertson (Music Director); Glen Snowdon (Choreographer); Sara Brodie (Assistant Director).
Partners Hackney Music Service; Lewisham Education Arts Network; Southwark Excellence in Cities and Bexley Excellence Cluster; Milton Keynes Music Service; Surrey Music Service; and Milton Keynes City Orchestra.
Supporters The Sir John Cass Foundation, Peter Moores Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Xchanging
Venues Milton Keynes Theatre; Old Town Hall and West Herts College Theatre, Hemel Hempstead; the Cochrane Theatre; Hertfordshire Music Service; Broadway Theatre, Barking.


“You don’t know how much difference you have made to these children’s lives. Since EPOC came into school the difference in achievement in Art, Drama and Music has been measurable.”

Headmistress, Glenbrook School, Lambeth

“The leaders were outstanding teachers. Key skills development was very specialised and this was a unique opportunity for the children.”

Amanda Webb, Class Teacher @ Albion Primary School, Southwark

“Brilliant for children – they were sorry when it finished! This has been one of the highlights of the year for us. Thank you.”

Ian Tucker, Headteacher @ Lynham Junior School, Wiltshire

“The children had an amazing and enriching experience and have been talking about nothing else ever since”

Roz Caren, Year 3 Teacher @ Eleanor Palmer Primary School, Camden

“I feel that we have grown through the experience (of this project), especially the more shy children in the class. Your project has opened the children’s eyes and they have discovered a new medium through which to express themselves. I also heard parents remark that they would never normally attend an opera, but that they were pleasantly surprised. They claimed they found it thoroughly entertaining when they expected to be bored… we are enormously grateful that there are people like you around.”

Bronwyn White, St. John Baptist Primary School, Lewisham

“Very hard work, but we really accomplished something by the end of the sessions, and it was amazing how much the children achieved just because someone believed they could.”

Di Ashton, Music Teacher @ Stepney Greencoats, Tower Hamlets

“[the workshop leaders had] excellent subject knowledge and behaviour management skills, and were very professional and flexible which is helpful in a school environment. There was a good split of art, music and drama – this made the children feel really empowered and skilled in that specific area. I loved the way the students devised their own drama and composed their own music. The workshops really raised students National Curriculum levels, having a very specific and measurable impact The performance was a great work experience for Year 7’s. Absolutely first class production. Innovative, community opera – the staff and students are still absorbing the lessons learnt, but we will definitely be altering our teaching in the Arts as a result.”

Janet Pepper, Head of Visual and Performing Arts @ City of London Academy, Southwark

“The EPOC production at the theatre was amazing. Teachers, LSAs and pupils thoroughly enjoyed the story, were engaged by the scenery and appreciated the opportunity to participate in the performance.”

Nadia Tresham, G&T Co-ordinator @ Jubilee Primary School, Bexley

"I will remember the designs of our scenes being put on display’. ‘It was good fun being in the audience and singing with other schools’. ‘The UV lights were my favourite part of the Magic Flute’ ‘It was magical’"

Year 6 students, Belvedere School, Bexley

"I thought it was outstanding, the actors put a lot of effort into the show. Parts of it were very dramatic’
‘It was brilliant and I loved it. I am very happy that this was my first opera…as I understood it"

Year 5 students, Barnes Cray School, Bexley

"The most memorable thing about the magic flute is that I am now famous’. ‘I was surprised at how un-scared I was’. ‘I really liked the tour of the theatre and looking at how the lights and sound worked'
‘I learned that opera was not just about singing’"

Year 4 students, William Pattern School, Hackney

"‘I learned that opera is the same as football’. ‘The performance I did, I made the audience laugh. That was the best bit’. ‘I wish I could do it again and in the holidays I want to see lots more operas’"

Year 5 students, Southwold School, Hackney

"Yesterday I went to see a performance of Magic Flute at the Cochrane Theatre in Holborn produced by English Pocket Opera.  The performance I saw was stunning.  The singing was of a very high standard, the stage direction was excellent and the set used on stage was very well thought through.  The children involved were obviously thoroughly enjoying themselves and all of the children came out of the theatre having had a real musical experience.
My favourite moment was during the warm-up session at the start where the children sang what they had learnt from their sessions at school.  Just hearing all these children singing “opera” was well worth my ticket price."

Carole Bowerman, Head of Curriculum Support, Borough of Redbridge

… if you have children, and want an opera that revels in the seasonal tradition of family  fun as well as great music, you should pay a visit to the Cochrane Theatre in Holborn, where the English Pocket Opera Company is presenting a witty, ingenious, altogether delightful production of The Magic Flute. Although reduced in scale, their version of Mozart’s masterpiece is in no way dumbed down. Indeed, the radiant purity of his music seems especially striking when performed by a quartet of clarinet, horn, bassoon doubling flute, and cello, with piano filling in the orchestral fabric.

The players are excellent, as is the cast, who throw themselves into their multiple parts: each of the slinky ladies who rescue Tamino at the beginning turns up later as, respectively, the Queen of the Night, Pamina and, most amazingly, the villain Monostatos, a tenor who plays the third lady in drag. Such virtuoso resourcefulness and gleeful energy set the tone for Mark Tinkler’s whole production, vividly enhanced by Annabel Lee’s bright Pop Art designs. Papageno is a chirpy Teddy Boy, Sarastro Dr Who in a bald wig with a fringe. Florescent colours create magical details, as light and darkness evoke the opera’s symbolic extremes.
Of the individual performances, I particularly enjoyed Jane Harrington’s Pamina and Darren Fox’s Tamino, but this is, above all, a collective achievement and a real Christmas treat. Continuing to December 18, with matinees as well as evening performances, it offers The Magic Flute as a kind of transcendent pantomime. Mozart would approve."

Geoffrey Smith, Review in COUNTRY LIFE Dec 05


To see photos of EPOC’s Magic Flute Project click on the icon below

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The Anvil Theatre, Basingstoke

EPOC provided workshops to 10 schools in the area. EPOC toured to the schools performing the interactive presentation Opera Hotpot. Three of the schools then went on to work with EPOC’s team of Visiting Artists (Director, Musician and Designer) over two days the results of which were presented at the theatre.


Participating Schools: 10 Basingstoke schools took part: St Bede’s Catholic Primary School; St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, South Ham; Fairfields Primary School; St Mark’s CE Primary School, Hatch Warren; Marnel Junior School; Oakley CE Junior, Oakley; Oakridge Junior School; Park View Junior; Rucstall Primary, Black Dam; St Mary’s CE Junior, Old Basing.
Animateurs Lucy Algar (Visiting Designer), Tom Atwood (Visiting Musician), Tim Godwin (Visiting Director).
Opera Hotpot Performers Michael Roulston, Natalie Raybould, Darren Fox, Alison Daniels.


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National Portrait Gallery


Participating Schools Soho Parish Primary School, Burdett Coutts Primary School, Wilberforce Primary School, St Peter’s Eaton Square
Animateurs Pete Letanka, Francesca Matthews, Paul Griffiths, Cameron Sinclair


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Brentfield Primary School


Participants 180 children from years 4, 5 and 6 from Brentfield Primary School.
Partners Brentfield Primary School.


Workshops and performances of children’s compositions based on WW2 themes took place with over 200 year 3, 4, 5 and 6 children from Brentfield Primary School in North London.

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