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05 November 2009
Pupils from three south Wales’ schools are set to perform with students from the University’s International Academy of Voice in a public operatic gala directed by one of the members of the Welsh chart-topping choir Only Men Aloud.
50 children aged 13-18 from Ysgol Gyfun Plasmawr, Fairwater; Howells School, Llandaff; and Hawthorn High School, Pontypridd, are currently in rehearsals for the event, Connect4Chorus, which takes place at Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre on 15 November 2009.
Alongside eight opera students from the Academy, the pupils will perform a selection of popular operatic choruses from Carmen, La Traviata and Porgy & Bess, amongst others. They will be directed by Only Men Aloudstar Thomas Oliver - himself a baritone singer- with Sharon Richards as Music Director.
The school children have undertaken several rehearsals in preparation for their performance and have learnt opera in Italian, French and English. They will continue to work with Academy students in the coming weeks to perfect their new-found operatic talents.
Zoe Riley, a Year 13 pupil at Hawthorn High School is one of those taking part. "I have found it to be a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable experience and can’t wait for the performance at Hoddinott Hall," said Zoe. "I would encourage anyone offered the chance to participate in this project in the future."
Connect4Chorus aims to introduce the school pupils to opera and public performance in an engaging and accessible way.
Thomas Oliver, Director of Connect4Chorusand Only Men Aloudmember said: "The project offers a great hands-on and fun approach to opera. I'll never forget the school pupils’ amazement when hearing the fantastic voices of the Academy students for the first time."
The Cardiff International Academy of Voice provides a highly specialised and unique environment for a small number of exceptional singers at the early-professional stage, to develop and polish their talent to the highest standards. Commenting on the Academy’s involvement in Connect4Chorus, Academy Director Dennis O’Neill said: "This is an important opportunity whereby we can encourage and inspire young students in local schools by introducing them to opera and singing."
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