Opera Squad Takeover

Ark Academy was given a very operatic treat as the English National Opera came to take over the school on Friday 12th October. Teachers were the first recipients with a surprise pop up performance of the “Count’s Aria” in the staff room. This was swiftly followed by an instrumental workshop and choir session, where musicians played a mash up of Rage Against the Machine and the famous Queen of the Night Area; whilst the singers worked on a song from a Philip Glass opera. Both ensembles joined together in a sharing session straight after; two year 8 forms provided both the audience, and the opportunity to provide a body percussion accompaniment to the main performance.

Break time showcased a plethora of performances from every corner of the school; singers surprised school crowds by popping up in the sixth form, the atrium and interrupted line up to serenade year 7-10 whilst dressed in silly wigs.

It was then the turn of the year 9 and 10 Drama and Music students who had prepared by visiting the London Coliseum the previous Tuesday to watch the ENO’s latest production; Porgy and Bess. They were able to workshop some of the themes from the opera and work in groups to perform their own interpretation of specific points of the plot.

Lunchtime saw more spectacles around the school, such as the canteen, hall and outside, but also featured a very special pop up costume area, giving students the opportunity to try on a huge array of wacky costumes ranging from a doughnut costume to a frog prince. 

The day culminated in a huge assembly with all of year 7. As well as getting to hear several performances from the cast, the whole year group were coached to then sing Gershwin’s Promised Land from Porgy and Bess together! It was a truly unique and special day for all students and staff.