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Children learn art of staging opera using puppets

The opera being performed in the school theatre.

The opera being performed in the school theatre.

Pupils at Chiswick House School recently learnt the art of creating marionettes using recyclable materials and using them to perform a children’s opera based on the Legend of the Blue Lady. This was the first time such an opera using puppets was written and staged in Malta.

The opera was the culmination of a Kreattiv project in which the school collaborated with the University of Malta’s School of Performing Arts (SOPA). During the project, the pupils attended workshops to learn how to make and use the puppets. They also contributed to the opera’s story line and music style, were involved in creating the scenery, and learnt the songs. Some of the children worked backstage and were responsible for the lights and backstage management.

Throughout the project the pupils worked and performed with a creative team of professionals, singers, performers and teachers including Francesca Aquilina, Clare Ghigo and Jeremy Grech. Lorraine Aquilina was artistic director and Stefan Caruana contributed as puppet consultant.

The music was performed by a string quartet made up of musicians from the National Orchestra youth section directed by Tom Armitage. It was written by Armitage and the libretto was written by Malcolm Galea.

The project was funded by the Arts Council Malta.

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