August 5, 2016
Opera screening coming to Highbridge's Apex Park this month

Highbridge's Apex Park is to play host to an outdoor screening of a powerful Tchaikovsky opera this month.

A big screen will be set up in the park for Garsington Opera to live-screen its production of Eugene Onegin in the open air on Saturday, August 20th.

Families are being encouraged to come along with a picnic and enjoy one of the world’s greatest love stories set to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music.

There will also be live community performances and street theatre before the performance, which starts at 5pm.

The world-famous Natural Theatre Company will be integrating themselves into the crowd, warming the audience up with an array of street theatre. Joining them will be the local re:ACT theatre group who rehearse at Burnham's Princess Theatre.

There will be no charge for entry to the performance. It all starts at 4.30pm with an outdoor performance and picnic, then at 5pm Somerset Film will show a number of short films made locally by amateur and professional film makers. At 5.30pm the Opera for All company will perform live, followed at 6pm by the start of the film.

Tchaikovsky’s powerful and moving opera Eugene Onegin, directed by Michael Boyd and designed by Tom Piper, is about first love.

It features British baritone Roderick Williams in the title role and Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw singing the young heroine Tatyana.

Garsington Opera For All brings free screenings of opera to public spaces across the country. This summer it is also visiting Skegness, Ramsgate and Grimsby.

'Opera for All' is a three-year partnership project with the charitable trust Magna Vitae and the Coastal Communities Alliance, and is supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.

Douglas Boyd, Artistic Director, says: "To be able to reach new audiences through extensive education work and free opera screenings in areas that have limited engagement with the arts is vital and will have an enormous impact in the various communities who will participate in the project, as well as for access to opera and the arts nationwide. We are passionate about sharing our work with the widest possible audience."

"Opera for All is a programme which challenges expectation by uncovering the ingredients and foundation of opera – drama, music, story-telling and expressive emotion."

Organisers Garsinginton Opera for All will be resident in Somerset for the whole week, delivering workshops, performances and the Big Screen event.

There will also be sessions for families, a skills workshop for young people aged 12 - 16, and they'll be popping up all round the area doing opera busking! Workshops are open to all, no prior experience is necessary, and they are just a fun opportunity to discover something new.

Family workshops will be held on Tuesday 16 August and Wednesday 17 August, 10.00 - 13.00 at the Mc Millan Theatre. "Work with professional singers, directors and musicians in learning more about how a show is made. Have a go at writing lyrics, singing in a chorus and discover more about rehearing for the theatre," says the spokesman.

A Summer Skills workshop for ages 12 - 16 will also be held on Thursday 18 August, 10.00 - 16.00 at the McMillan Theatre. "Work with our team of professionals as they introduce you to the skills of theatre making. You will create, explore stage craft, and work on performance skills in this practical all day workshop," says the spokesman.


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