Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Opera Holland Park introduces teenagers to opera in new film

4:58, 9th March 2018

A new film from Investec Opera Holland Park (OHP) follows eight sixth-formers from Archbishop Tenison’s School, Lambeth as they are introduced to opera.

Hip hop to opera shows the students meeting OHP’s general director Michael Volpe during some mentoring sessions, before they are taken to the Royal Opera House to watch a rehearsal, meet a singer and ROH director of opera Oliver Mears, and attend a performance of Tosca.

David, who was most resistant to opera at the outset said: ‘I think I’d come to the opera again – I can see myself being a regular. It kills me inside to say this, because I don’t like being wrong!’

Another of the participants, Junior, said: ‘I thought I was somebody who’s open to trying new things but in the back of my head there were still certain stigmas – opera is upper-class, it’s not for people who come from places where I’m from… But actually they’re just telling a story and just because they’re telling the story differently doesn’t mean I can’t go.’

HP’s general director Michael Volpe said: Opera is merely a tool to help them experience things they would, a few short months ago, have considered other-worldly. Opera is our weapon of choice, but the effects of these experiences are the key determining factors for the future health of our industry. We can’t just obsess about our bit of the arts world; we have to involve ourselves deeply in the massive issue of social, educational and cultural aspiration.”

Tickets for OHP performances start from £20 – and there are free tickets for young people and those aged over 60.

Opera Holland Park’s inaugural Schools’ Matinee – a special performance of La traviata reserved exclusively for school groups aged between seven and 18 – will take place on 13 June. Tickets are £5 each, although financial assistance is available where necessary. Ahead of the matinee, OHP is also offering workshops for students, CPD workshops for teachers and resource packs. Click here for more information.

Investec Opera Holland Park’s 2018 Season will run from 29 May to 28 July.


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