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Central St. Martins

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In 2007/08 EPOC began a relationship with the Central St. Martin’s College of Art (CSM), in particular, with the staff and students of the Performance Design and Practice course. At that time, EPOC were running an opera project in Tower Hamlets which helped children write, compose and sing their own operas. At the same time, CSM were running an opera project that gave opportunities to their tertiary-level students to design scenes from opera performed by student opera singers. When the two projects merged, EPOC’s children were not only creating their own material but they were designing their own operas as well, working with CSM students and having visits to the studios of CSM. CSM’s students were getting training in working with children and young people and working with professional opera singers. What started as the marriage of two educational projects based around opera has flourished into a many-sided partnership that has continued to the present day.


Pocket Opera Project

This project, the first that EPOC and CSM collaborated on, runs every year. Hamlet in 2008 , based on the play by Shakespeare and the opera by Ambroise Thomas opera, was a critical success and enjoyed by over 1000 children who saw performances at the Brady Centre in Tower Hamlets and went on to write their own versions of the piece. Don Giovanni in 2009 was performed at The Cochrane Theatre and transferred to the Brady Arts Centre in Whitechapel. CSM design ambassadors, both undergraduate and postgraduate, worked in schools and supported the making of the children’s Don Giovanni-based performances. Dream in 2010, based Shakespeare’s words and Purcell’s music from the Faerie Queen was sold out for nine performances at the Cochrane Theatre and was used as the basis for an Art and Design Project for schools that culminated at the ‘Dream Space’, a specially created theatre environment in Pooles Park top hall at Pooles Park with children’s and students’ models and responses to ‘dream’. In 2011 we did a 90-min version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle – a version which traced the ownership of the ring and in 2012 Paul Featherstone directed a stunning version of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle. The 2013 project is Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

To see pictures of recent work with Central St. Martin’s click the logo

Hamlet 2008

Don Giovanni 2009

Dream 2010

The Ring 2011

Bluebeard 2012

Hansel & Gretel 2013

Opera House

A process started in 2008 to develop, in a theoretical project, the west end of the school buildings of Pooles Park Park Primary School (4 hall spaces and assorted other spaces) as the ‘Opera House’ - a centre for the community and local schools with a performance space at its heart to act as a resource for all the school’s stakeholders: CSM students, pupils, parents, teachers, staff, governors and the wider community.

To see pictures of the developing Opera House click the logo