Download Pegasus Opera Company Education Brochure Ed_booklet

With over fifteen years experience and dedication to its education work, Pegasus has presented workshops for virtually every opera in its repertoire including Carmen, The Magic Flute, The Love Potion, Falstaff and I Pagliacci. It has established good working relations with a large number of London boroughs and beyond, including Westminster, Lambeth, Haringey, Southwark, Lewisham, Brent, Hackney, Barnet, Havering, Enfield and Hornchurch.


As part of its ongoing commitment to the development of access and participation amongst young people, Pegasus also provides a matinee performance where over 500 pupils have the opportunity to see a fully staged, professional production free of charge. Pegasus Opera's Education Programme has become an integral part of the company's work. It is designed to run alongside or independently of the main opera productions.

Pegasus Opera recognises that it is not sufficient simply to introduce young people to opera by offering cut-price tickets to performances. Instead, for the true development of children's creative powers, appreciation and involvement in opera, it is vital to work with pupils and teachers to explore the creative potential educational possibilities of working with music, drama and design.


The education projects enable children to work with singers, composers, directors and designers, to explore issues of identity, tolerance and positive social interaction. The workshops offer participants the opportunity to develop in key areas of the curriculum. They provide a thought-provoking creative experience introducing participants to music-theatre and opera both as audience, creators and participants. They also provide an ideal means to contribute to broader curriculum learning and enhance lifre skills such as self-confidence, communication, creative problem-solving and teamwork. In addition to workshops relating to the opera in repertory, Pegasus has introduced a one-day workshop independent of any production which is intended for the most disadvantaged children (families on income support or in receipt of free school meals). The workshops provide a close encounter with opera, giving them the opportunity to explore the art form on their own terms.

Access and Performance
Creation and Presentation
Music and Citzenship
Making a Drama out of an Opera
What we hope to achieve
Comments from children and teachers


In this course the creative teams work one day a week over a five week period, introducing pupils to opera and music-theatre. The children study various aspects of opera, working to create costumes, learn music, develop their singing skills and stage a scene. The course will culminate in a performance of their piece to their peers.

Aims of the project:

  • to investigate the main themes of the opera, using exercises relevant to the pupils' curriculum
  • to enable students to work with professional singers, a director and a repetiteur for rehearsals, discussing work and directing each other
  • the develop skills in criticising and evaluating creative work
  • to create a forum for questioning the professionals about their work

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This five-day course is designed to assist the participants in developing their own narrative, writing words, composing music and designing sets and costumes. Pupils are encouraged to think in terms of being a professional opera company., defining their different roles and taking on responsibility for a particular area of the production. A team of arts practitioners work with the children, fostering and facilitating their ideas and developing the skills required for them to fully explore their own particular response to the characters, themes and aesthetics. Teachers work with the Pegasus team to maximise the educational experience of the project.

Aims of the project:

  • inspire and enable the children to express themselves through words, music, design and staging
  • expand the musical and dramatic horizons of the children
  • stimulate thought and discussion about personal development and citizenship
  • support and develop the creative, singing and acting skills of the children
  • create a lasting and sustainable legacy of appreciation and creation of music theatre and opera


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-the one day explorations-

koangaA one-day course led by a workshop director, repetiteur and professional singer during which a particular style of music is explored; music of religion, music of the oppressed, music of celebration. The professional team illustrates how music can be used to create an atmosphere, depict moods and emotions or a particular event. Pupils are encouraged to discuss stories and relate them to a particular style of music. The class agrees a story and, with the help of the professional team, devises a short piece of music to be performed.

Aimsof the project:

  • relate learning to the actualities of everyday life
  • promote discursive and exploratory discussions about themselves, their culture and their community
  • explore moral and social issues
  • equip children with the skills to work independently and in groups
  • develop the creative, singing and acting skills of the children
  • develop communication skills (listening, negotiating, co-operation, verbal)
  • develop literacy skills
  • bring curriculum text alive for children

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- art for art's sake -

Following upon the success of our inaugural "close encounter" with oepra, we will continue our day visits on the theme A Midsummer Night's Dream. Because the project is a one day "try me", we hope we hope to engage not only students with interests in music, literature, dance and movement, but also those who previously have shown no interest in the arts.

koanga1. Making a Drama out of an Opera

An exploration of the themes, characterisation and setting of the opera through imaginative play, debate and practical listening skills: the participants will devise and perform a short dramatic scene inspired by the story of the opera and its music through its text, arias, duets and ensembles.

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2. Art for Art's Sake?

The themes of the opera are introduced and discussed with the Pegasus designer. The participants are then encouraged to explore the text and characterisation, comparing the opera and its literary inspiration and developing their own ideas for either costume, mask or set design. Through discussion, support and the advice of the professional costume/set designer, participants realise their ideas in three-dimensional form. The resulting pieces will be exhibited in the school.

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A primary objective is bringing the opportunity of a close encounter with opera to young people who would usually feel excluded – or indeed exclude themselves – from experiencing this spectacular art form. We aim to provide diverse and positive role models through the arts practitioners taking part. Pegasus Opera also provides the creative environemnt where it will be possible for every child to contribute to the best of his/her ability, thus creating a lasting and sustainable legacy of appreciation and creation of music, theatre and opera in all participating schools.

It is a prerequisite of the courses that a teacher attends all workshops for reasons of health and safety and to ensure a lasting legacy of teaching practices. Pegasus Opera will provide teaching packs at the end of each course.

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"I thought opera was boring, but I really enjoyed it."
Ben, age 9, Marshalls Park School

"I never knew I could compose music. I learnt new things, new songs and how to write music."
Ewan, age 10, Brockwell School

"I enjoyed performing the play at the end, it made it all seem more professional. I learnt more about opera and found out I really like it."
Lucy, age 9, Thorpe Hall Primary School


"It was a good experience and inspired me to go and watch opera."
Aimee, age 10, Mandeville School

"The music workshop was really good. The best bit was when we were playing with the musical insturments."
Fatma, age 10, Mornington School

"I think it was a good experience because it was fun!"
Louis, age 8, Kingsmead Primary School

"The thing I enjoyed most was the first time I heard Uncle Remus sing."
Matthew, age 8, Elmwood Primary School

"The children responded with enthusiasm and focus and, for a number, English was a second language."
Teacher, St Stephen's School, Lambeth

"Icky and his team were GREAT! The children and myself had a lovely day. Thanks again for all."
Teacher, Alfred Salter Primary School, Southwark

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