Case Study: Recharged, Partner Schools Programme 2016/17 at Lansbury Lawrence Primary School, Tower Hamlets

'‘I would like to take this opportunity to say a GARGANTUAN thank you for allowing us to perform our Year 6 leaving performance at such a well-known and beautiful venue, Wigmore Hall. [..] Wigmore Hall is an amazing place and the fact that you have allowed 10-11 year olds to perform in this glorious hall is absolutely unbelievable.’'

A Letter from Year 6 at Lansbury Lawrence Primary School

Lansbury Lawrence Primary School in Tower Hamlets, one of our Partner Schools, wanted to find a way to create their own end of year show for Year 6 (age 10-11), instead of buying in a pre-written piece.

Through our partnership, the school worked with a music leader to create a new opera, working with the Year 5 classes (age 9-10) to write the lyrics with a librettist and the music with a composer, and with the Year 6 students to bring it to life on stage. All musical and narrative ideas came directly from the Year 5 students – the project was a chance for them to take more responsibility in anticipation of becoming the Year 6 students the following year.

The music leader worked with the school’s art and drama teachers as well as an opera design consultant, ensuring that students from across the school were involved in creating the set, props, costumes and music. We gave Year 5 complete creative freedom on the topic of the opera, and their overwhelming response was that the opera should explore the themes of racism, inequality and the will to power.

The finished opera Recharged focused on the story of a society in which power or ‘charge’ is unequally distributed across a kingdom of robots.

The Partner Schools Programme was made possible in 2016/17 thanks to the generosity of our funders: Andor Charitable Trust, Arts Council England, Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, The Howard de Waldon Estate, John Lyon’s Charity, The Three Monkies Trust and an anonymous donor.

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