Newtown school children have enlisted the help of a television celebrity to show their concern for the environment in a public performance re-make of an infamous bible story.
Pupils from four schools have teamed up with Mid Wales Opera to perform a rendition of the much-loved Noah’s Ark story, with the voice of God delivered by environmentalist and television personality Iolo Williams. Pupils from Montgomery Church in Wales School, Treowen School, Penygloddfa School, Llanidloes High School and Newtown High School are involved in the opera, alongside local dancers, actors and instrumentalists.
Watch a video about the performance.
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, the Colwinston Charitable Trust and Size of Wales – a unique scheme to sustain an area of tropical rain forest the size of Wales as part of the national response to climate change – the children will perform a lively, witty and relevant take on a familiar story in Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.
Hundreds of young actors, singers, instrumentalists and dancers from Newtown have been working alongside Mid Wales Opera’s professional orchestra and principal singers, with the choreography created by Ballet Cymru.
Iolo Williams said: “I am delighted to be involved in such an exciting and important project. The issues of climate change highlighted by the production are of great importance to our children and I welcome Size of Wales’ involvement. It shows that if we work together we can make a really positive difference to the environment.”
Mid Wales Opera has eight days with the pupils to put together the performance and give them a taste of life as an opera star. The idea is conceived and directed by Clare Williams, who has spent the last 25 years producing large-scale events for young people.
She said: “It’s a great challenge to mount an opera in eight days, but Wales is so rich in musical and theatrical talent that we are confident that the young people will do the piece justice.
“We are extremely grateful to our supporters, Size of Wales. Climate change is something that Noye’s Fludde addresses and by doing our bit, children in North Powys can make a really positive difference to the environment and help communities in Africa and South America.”
Hannah Scrase, project manager at Size of Wales, said: “The work that Mid Wales Opera is doing is great and has really benefitted the children in Newtown. It also raises awareness of environmental issues at a young age. We are aiming to raise two million pounds to help protect two million hectares of forest, so we need all the help we can get.”
“The world’s tropical rainforests absorb almost a fifth of the world’s man-made carbon emissions. If we act now, we can save our tropical rainforests, and help protect the world’s climate”.
Noye’s Fludde was first performed in 1957 and is composer Benjamin Britten’s best known work for children. The performance is travelling acrossWales, working with different schools, under the direction of Clare Williams, conducted by Mervyn Cousins, formerly Artistic Director of Llangollen International Eisteddfod.
Mid Wales Opera Company will be resident at Hafren from 21- 27 April 2012. The performances will be on 27April at 1.30pm and 6.30pm. Tickets available from Hafren box office 01686 614555
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