Star Turn

School: Lenzie primary, East Dunbartonshire, school roll 250; classes involved P5-7; headteacher Margot Cram

What was the best arts company to visit your school in the past year? Without a doubt, Scottish Opera.

How did you hear about them? They sent us a flyer.

How long did they spend with you? Half a day, an afternoon.

What did they do? There were three of them and they put on a workshop culminating in a performance with the children. The piece they performed was 1719, a modern classical opera involving the Jacobites and the Hanoverians. They provided beautiful costumes which were of tremendous quality and were historically accurate, and they provided percussion as an accompaniment to a tape of their own music and our piano. They taught the children stage direction, movement and polished up their singing.

Did you do any preparation beforehand? Yes, quite a lot. Scottish Opera sent us their package in advance with the music and lyrics, and we have a really gifted music teacher, Caroline Hunter, who trained the children up in advance. The pupils also had to make hats to go with the costumes.

Did you do any follow-up work? No. But next time I would hope to invite them in for a whole day.

What did the visit cost? Pounds 300 for the half-day. A whole day would cost about Pounds 500.

Who paid? The school fund. But if I can arrange to have them for a whole day another time, I would have them put on the performance for an audience of parents as a means of contributing to the cost.

What was so good about them? The professionalism of the cast. They were tremendously efficient - they arrived dead on time and their whole organisation was extremely slick. But the main thing was the sheer joy of the performance - it was uplifting. The children loved it and can't wait to have them back. They were so proud of being part of such excellence.

How relevant was it to the curriculum? It enhanced the whole of the music aspect of the curriculum as well as drama, art and even history.

Contact Scottish Opera Go Round, tel: 0141 248 4567

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