Cambridge Youth Opera would not be able to deliver our productions without the support and input of our partners. For Hansel and Gretel we continue to work with our longstanding partner, Chesterton Community College, as well as several new partners who join us for the first time for this production.
Chesterton Community College – Home of CYO
Since 2011, CYO has been supported by Chesterton Community College, while providing special opportunities for Chesterton students to take part in our activities. The College is the home of Cambridge Youth Opera and our base for rehearsals.
For this production we are welcoming the Chesterton Year 7 choir, who will perform with us as Gingerbread Children, children who have been stolen by the Witch and turned in Gingerbread. When Hansel and Gretel defeat the Witch, these children come back to life. The choir will be joining the rest of the cast in this lovely scene. We are working closely with the Head of Music to provide these students with an ongoing relationship, singing with CYO.
We are also working with the Chesterton Art and DT Department on a workshop which enables Chesterton students to work with professional designers and artists on the production of costumes and the set. We have run similar successful workshops for previous productions, providing students with an opportunity to explore new skills and find out about theatre arts. Continuation is provided to students who wish to take part in CYO production activities and through the ongoing programme with the school.
Several Chesterton students are involved in the main CYO company, as singers and members of the production team, a testimony to our ongoing and special relationship with the College.
Bottisham Village College and Sawston Village College
Stage Management and Technical Theatre
In a new partnership, we are thrilled to be working with two schools from Anglian Learning in the area of technical theatre and stage management. We will be training students from Bottisham and Sawston Village Colleges in stage management and giving them the opportunity to run the show independently, with the support of our young assistant director.
For lighting technicians, we are offering the opportunity to work with the Storey’s Field technical team, training to use the state of the art lighting rig and run the show. Both teams will get a great opportunity to train and work in a professional venue and take their skills back to their Colleges. We are very grateful to our performance venue partner, Storey’s Field, for supporting this initiative.
Bottisham and Fen Ditton Primary Schools
Primary School Singing
Pupils from Bottisham and Fen Ditton Primary Schools (both Anglian Learning) will be joining us as Gingerbread Children for Hansel and Gretel.
We’re working with Key Stage 2 teachers to train and rehearse these young singers and give them an outstanding experience performing with us. CYO has a commitment to work with younger children and primary schools and are very excited to have provide this opportunity to children who would not normally take part in opera-based activities. We are actively exploring future activities to involve the schools, as well as providing continuity as singers move into secondary school.
OLEM Junior Choir
The OLEM Junior Choir will also join us as Gingerbread Children, as part of our commitment to working with younger children and opening up opera to those who would not otherwise take part.
Cambridge Youth Dance Company
Choreography and dance
Our production of Hansel and Gretel includes a large dance element and we are joined for this by choreographer Kate Durrant of Cambridge Youth Dance Company. Kate will be working with a group of young dancers to develop the dance elements of the show. She will also be joined by some of the CYO singers, who will be given the opportunity to develop a new skill and contribute to this important dimension to the production.
Storey’s Field Centre
Performance Venue Partnership
As well as being a supportive performance venue, the Storey’s Field Centre provides us with substantial technical support, including training for young lighting technicians, who gain invaluable experience working with professionals using the Centre’s state of the art theatre lighting system.
Girton Glebe and Mayfield Primary Schools with Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination
CYO has commissioned the children of Girton Glebe and Mayfield Primary Schools to work with Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination’s ArtScapers programme to produce our Forest of Imagination, an installation in the Storey’s Field Centre during the performance period.
We are delighted that the ArtScapers programme has accepted this commission ArtScapers is the education initiative for Eddington, commissioned by the North West Cambridge Development. It is run by arts and well-being charity Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination whose unique creative practice enables people of all ages to express their own ideas. They will be working with children from Girton Glebe and Mayfield Primary Schools. The children from the two schools will work with artist Caroline Wendling on their own interpretation of Hansel and Gretel’s Magic Forest of Imagination, created from their imaginations, to enchant everybody who attends. We want it to establish the atmosphere of the show from the moment the audience enter the building.