Norwich youngsters discover opera

Opera singers might not be tenor a penny in Norwich but youngsters at three Norwich schools have been discovering the art form ahead of their own production next month.

Pupils from The Hall School, Old Catton Junior School and White Woman Lane Junior School will perform their opera show at Norwich Theatre Royal on Sunday, March 27.

The children have been creating the performances alongside professional opera singers, musicians and drama practitioners, using Puccini's short comedy opera Gianni Schicchi, about a family inheritance in Florence, as the basis for their work.

Each of the finished pieces will see the pupils perform alongside soprano Lynsey Docherty and tenor Roberto Garcia Lopez and will end with a rousing rendition of the classic aria Nessun Dorma from Puccini's opera Turandot, most famously performed by Luciano Pavarotti.

Cecilia King, from The Hall School, a school for children with learning difficulties based in St Faith's Road, Old Catton, said: 'The children are thoroughly enjoying it and are singing at home and singing around the school.

'It's a gateway to free that inner talent that they have and they are beginning to feel free to vocalise more and move around more in other classes. It's a marvellous opportunity and they are very excited.'

The event is part of Norwich Theatre Royal's Norfolk Schools Project. The scheme operates twice a year and has been backed by a number of companies and grant-making trusts.

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The production will be held at Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, at 2pm. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance through the box office on 01603 630000.

Do you know youngsters who have been involved in an inspiring project? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email