Pupils fall in love with opera magic of The Sorcerer

Amy Tomlinson, aged 10 and Ellie Dillon, aged 11.
Amy Tomlinson, aged 10 and Ellie Dillon, aged 11.
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Pupils at a Blackpool primary school stole the limelight from amateur theatre aces when members of Marton Operatic Society called in to present a masterclass.

Youngsters got to dress in costume and learn music from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer which will be performed by the society later this year.

Christine Dempsey, pupils Sonny Chamberlain and Isabel Reynolds with Tony Alman.

Christine Dempsey, pupils Sonny Chamberlain and Isabel Reynolds with Tony Alman.

The visit was the first in a series planned by the group.

And they are hoping to inspire a new generation to get involved.

Year six teacher Stephanie Darkins said youngsters had enjoyed every second of the visit.

She said: “It was fantastic.

Jacob Cubbins and Cade Jameson, both aged 11

Jacob Cubbins and Cade Jameson, both aged 11

“They had children in costume, they were acting out scenes and really throwing themeslves into it.

“We are very lucky because when the Russian State Opera came to town some of our children were involved in a production of Carmen.

“They’ve had a taste of opera before, but we’ve never had a whole class involved before and we’ve never had an opera company come into school.

“Even the ones who didn’t get a chance to try their hand with acting got involved.

“It is lovely to have local amateurs come in and do something like this, it would be fantastic to do something like this again.”

And Miss Darkins hopes the opera experience will be a memorable one for the youngsters.

She said: “They are in their last few months at primary school.

“It is great to give them these kinds of experiences, to help them do things they will remember when they move on from us.”

The Sorcerer is one of the less well known works of Gilbert and Sullivan, famous for the likes of Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado.

It tells the story of A young man, Alexis, who is obsessed with idea of love levelling all ranks and social distinctions. To promote his beliefs, he a sorcerer to brew a love potion which causes everyone in the village to fall in love with the first person they see.

The opera was first performed in 1877.

Society Member Lynn Corlett explained how youngsters were given an introduction to a very different musical world.o

She said: “Children have the opportunity to act out in costume with props a reduced version of the work, we also provide the music to sing along to.

”This year we are working with schools on The Sorcerer. We show the children how to sing and act without the use of microphones, they are taught to project the voice, a dying art it seems these days.

“Children need to be aware that they can have fun singing and acting on stage without all the electronic aids all too often relied upon today.”

Any school can contact the society to book a workshop.

And anyone interested in joining the society is invited to join them for rehearsals, or audition for a role on Friday June 16.

The Sorcerer will be staged at the Lowther Pavilion from October 10 to October 14.

Contact the society by calling secretary Pat Skovlund on (01253) 826404 or email pat.skovlund@outlook.com