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Opera Blocks

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“It was education at its best “

Headteacher, Monken Hadley School, Barnet

“The most fantastic visit we have had in many years. We have been on a high all day!"

Deputy Head @ Rushey Green Primary School, Lewisham


Type For In Time Topics Dates Available to Ages Booking Cost
















Places still




*Within the M25

What is it?

An interactive introduction to opera. Written for children (and suitable for adults), it lasts 1hr, uses excerpts from over 20 operas and is in three parts: an introduction to the building blocks of opera; a ‘pocket’ sing-a-long Carmen with children as the main characters; and an, as yet, unscripted 15-minute opera improvised on suggestions from the audience. It features singers Olivia Ray and Dominic Barrand with Steven Neugarten on piano.

For us at English Pocket Opera Company, opera is any story, from any country in the world made up of three basic ingredients: Action, Words and Music. Such a story might be transformed into an opera, a  musical, an Indian Bollywood film, an operetta, a cartoon, or even a pantomime. Story telling with action, words and music is common to these art forms. Opera Blocks unpacks an opera from the western classical music tradition that places special emphasis on the music and uses large orchestras and specially trained singers.

What are the 'blocks'?

The building blocks of opera that are unpacked and assembled include: music, libretto, arias, duets, trios, quartets, ensembles, choruses, narration, dialogue, recitative, melodrama, singers, orchestras and many more.

Tell me more:

  • EPOC comes to your school to perform it;
  • it lasts about one hour;
  • it is suitable for children and young people of all ages KS 1-3, GCSE and ‘A’ level;
  • it is best performed to about 200 children;
  • it includes a ‘pocket’ sing-a-long Carmen with children as the main characters and an hilarious improvised opera;
  • it involves three professional performers coming to your school - 2 singers and a pianist; and
  • you have a choice of the featured opera being Carmen or Cinderella

What would our school need to provide?:

Ideally we need:

  • a hall capable of accommodating the (up to ) 200 children who can watch or a room big enough for the number of children watching;
  • a piano (essential – although if you don’t have one, your best keyboard) - and piano stool (but a chair will do);
  • 14 music stands (if you have them); if not, 14 chairs; if not, don’t worry – we will manage! ; and
  • several other chairs (about 10) would be good – but again we will manage if not!

Yes, I’m interested!

In that case: ring or send and email to Aneta (details below);

The Opera Blocks Team: Steven Neugarten, Olivia Ray and Dominic Barrand

EPOC will provide:

In advance of coming to your school we will provide:

  • a resource pack for teachers;
  • a list of all performers; and
  • an EPOC safe singer document. All EPOC performers have undergone an enhanced CRB within the last two years. We will send you a list of the performers with details of their check. Scans of their original documents can be sent on request. All performers are expected to arrive at schools with photo-id and proof of their current address

On the day of the interactive presentation you can expect:

  • two singers and a pianist who will arrive at least one half hour before the commencement of the performance;


"It was stunning! All the children and adults involved were thrilled by the high energy delivery, humour and of course excellent musicianship of the cast."

Music Specialist @ Yerbury Primary School, Islington

“The children loved it (so did the staff). Use of humour was excellent. My Year 2 teacher begged to go in – I was in two minds about it. In the end they went in and thought it was wonderful. Inspiring to see KS1 & 2 children loving opera.”

Head @ Chingford Hall Primary School, Waltham Forest

“The session was fun, engaging and gave lots of children the opportunity to experience a small snippet of opera, first hand. All the adults in the room too enjoyed the experience and were full of praise.”

Music Coordinator, St. Mary’s School, East Barnet

“This was the best afternoon session I have experienced – superb!”

Head of Music @ Joseph Clarke Special School, Waltham Forest

“It was just BRILLIANT!! Very funny and interactive for everyone. It’s a fantastic approach to teaching opera!”  

Marta Marino, Music Co-ordinator @ Tyssen Primary School

“I really loved the way you have incorporated children into high art – and hundreds of children at that! …… I did not see a bored or disgruntled face, nor did I hear a single complaint from any child. They were loving it, and, importantly doing so naturally. With this kind of input, the future of opera as a genre is secured.”

Music Teacher @ Stockwell Park High School, Lambeth

“What a performance. So clever! Congratulations to EPOC, a group of people who really know about children.“

Hackney Music Service

For more information please call Mark or Aneta at the office 020 7281 4015 or write to us at