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La cenerentola (Rossini) – first fully staged touring performance, designed to fit into Mini Metro!
Cléopâtre (Massenet) – – British premiere of Massenet work at Greenwich Theatre. Norma (Bellini) – semi-staged performances at Greenwich Theatre.

Gala concert 3.1.93 opens the company (with Simon Keenlyside, Ann Howard and Marilyn Hill-Smith).

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Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) – toured over 30 performances to 8 venues.

Nick Prettejohn joins the board

Nick Prettejohn becomes chair of Camberwell Pocket Opera

Camberwell Pocket Opera rebrands to become English Pocket Opera Company (EPOC) EPOC changes its mission to work exclusively with children and young people – “opera for, by and with children”.

EPOC moves to offices in Islington YMCA.

EPOC begins 3-year funding partnership with Xchanging.

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La cenerentola (Rossini) revival – tour to 11 new venues, and Castleward Festival in N. Ireland.
Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) revival.
La cenerentola (Rossini) revival, with children’s workshops, at Ross-on-Wye Festival.

La bohème (Puccini), tour to 12 venues.
La bohème (Puccini) revival, with children’s workshops – tour to 3 new venues.

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Così fan tutte (Mozart) – national tour of 9 venues plus summer revival at Southbank Centre.

Production of trilogy of Beaumarchais comedies:
Barber of Seville (Rossini) &
Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) – dramatically linked, fully-stage versions. Toured over 40 performances to venues and festivals nationwide
La mère coupable (Milhaud) – concert version – first UK performance of Milhaud opera. Tristan & Isolde (Wagner)– a new version for 2 pianos. Toured to 6 venues including Linbury Studio ROH and Covent Garden Festival.
Barber of Seville (Rossini) – revival at 5 venues
Carmen (Bizet) – 6 performances and education residency at Bermuda Festival.
Hansel & Gretel (Humperdinck) – 21 date national tour, (some with piano, some with 5- piece orchestra), plus education project with Lambeth schools – catalyst for EPOC’s eventual transformation into company focused exclusively on opera education).
Hansel & Gretel (Humperdinck) revival, plus education project with 9 London schools, residency at Cochrane Theatre with 19 schools, plus performance at Newbury Spring Festival.
The Desert Island (Haydn) – UK premiere of Haydn’s opera in double bill with
Bastien & Bastienne (Mozart) with Goldberg Ensemble at Ryedale Festival.
Carmen – The Choice of Don José (Bizet)– new version of Bizet’s Opera, and EPOC’s first fully-worked, phased opera education project, with INSET, in-school interactive presentation, artists-in-schools residency, and children’s performances integrated into the professional theatre show. Took place with 6000 children from 60 schools in 7 London boroughs, with 18 schools performing during a 2-week residency at Cochrane Theatre, plus national tour visiting 8 venues

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Year

EPOC Timeline 1993-2016

Notes

‘Opera Opened Up’ – new series of stand-alone music/opera education workshops, trialled in 10 schools in London in association with new interactive presentation, Opera Hotpot.
‘Virtual’ Carmen (Bizet) – unique NESTA – funded project with 6 laser-linked schools in Kings Cross EAZ, involving simultaneous live, recorded and online performances taking place across venues, merging live action with interactive screened performances through use of laser technology

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EPOC moves to offices to Islington YMCA.

EPOC moves to offices in Islington primary school (Pooles Park).

EPOC merges with Children’s Music Workshop (CMW), rebrands under umbrella of Music Platform.

EPOC begins long-term partnership with Camden Music Service.
EPOC begins funding partnership with Peter Moores Foundation.

Start of long-term partnership with Central St. Martin’s College of Art.

The Desert Island (Haydn)

Bastien & Bastienne (Mozart) revived for 3 performances at the Cochrane Theatre and at 2 festivals
The Clowns – I Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) – full opera education project, this time with 6 singers, 4 musicians, and 3-phase residency, involving 12,000 children in 74 schools across 9 London boroughs, with a 2-week residency at Cochrane Theatre and one week at Greenwich Theatre.

The Clowns – I Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) – full project revival with another 12,000 children from schools in 6 London boroughs in 6 theatres.
Heute Abend: Lola Blau (Kreisler) – performances of one-woman show at New End Theatre, Hampstead

The Magic Flute (Mozart) – new production in 9 venues working with over 100 schools from 11 London Boroughs, Wilts, Herts & Cambs over two years. Nominated for a RPS award. Included performance with 55 Camden Schools at the Royal Albert Hall.
Opera Hotpot plus workshops and residencies tours to 10 Basingstoke schools, with creative results presented at Anvil Theatre

Il Trovatore (Verdi) – a project involving intensive work with 20 classes from 10 Tower Hamlets schools, with interactive performances at the Brady Centre, workshops in composing and creative writing and children’s performances of their own mini-operas Dick Whittington (Various) – year-long project with 10 Tower Hamlets schools, developing music, literacy and performance skills, working towards a final Gala performance of a new specially-commissioned piece.

National Portrait Gallery – 2 x 2-week residencies with over 400 children making music inspired by key paintings
Cambridge Bones (Letanka) – year-long project with all children in one Cambridge school. Plus numerous other specific, tailor-made projects for clusters of schools in London, Cambridge, Taunton, themed around science, local history, Italy, jazz etc.

The Love for Three Oranges (Prokoviev) – full opera education project, with 60 schools + residencies in 3 venues including the Royal College of Music and the Unicorn Theatre. Hamlet (Thomas) – term-long project with 700 Tower Hamlets children to inspire their own operas. Partnership with Central St. Martins.

Bess of Hardwick (Redwood) – Derbyshire project, with 180 children performing in a specially-written piece for massed choirs, 2 soloists and 27-piece orchestra.
The Tudors (Various) – 10 Tower Hamlets schools develop language and literacy through music and song … and many more…

Cinderella (Rossini) – major EPOC opera education project, with 2 strands: (i) EPOC’s traditional ‘performance’ project and (ii) ‘creative’ project, inspiring children to create their own versions of the opera in school. 16,000 children took part, from 40 schools and Active Learning Childcare organisations in 5 boroughs, with theatre residencies at the Cochrane and Unicorn Theatre

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| EPOC 3-year plan 2016 – 19

Don Giovanni (Mozart) – with 600 x year 5 & 6 children from 10 London Borough of Tower Hamlets primary schools.
Sing Op Herts – a teacher training and primary/transition education project, working with one secondary and 5 feeder primaries

London Bones (Various) – singing and composition project in partnership with 8 Tower Hamlet’s schools, Lloyds of London and the Museum of London

Year

EPOC Timeline 1993-2016

Notes

Dr X.Plorer – A ‘New Direction’ partnership, working with Year 1 and 2 pupils to explore the cultures of the 3 main ethnic groups in the school, i.e. Somalian, Bengali and Turkish
Carmen – The Choice of Don José (Bizet) – a year-long project adapted for 6 different client groups, each sharing some common ingredients. Projects concluded with various outcomes, including: 2 performances at the Royal Albert Hall – (i) with the massed choirs and orchestras of 31 Barnet Primary and Secondary Schools, instrumental students, music and dance A-level students, and (ii) with 41 Camden Primary/Secondary schools and the Camden Youth Symphony Orchestra; Other locations included: St. Catharine’s College Chapel, Cambridge – with local schools and choir schools, St Pancras Station (with Camden schools), Bloomsbury Theatre and Union Chapel (with Islington schools). Dream (Purcell/Shakespeare) – an art, music and design project with 4 schools devising creative visual responses to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and transferring their designs to the magical ‘Dreamspace’ at EPOC’s base for an interactive installation.

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Children’s Music Workshop is discontinued. Music Platform is dissolved, and EPOC is reconstituted.

Holly Stout becomes chair of EPOC.

EPOC begins long-term partnership with Barnet Music Service.

EPOC receives 3-yr core-funding from Peter Moores Foundation

EPOC moves to offices in Camden primary school (Primrose Hill).

The Park – a new opera by, for and with the children of Betty Layward School in Hackney funded by Creative Partnerships.
I Sing of Islington (Letanka) – Xmas concert in Union Chapel with 8 Islington schools singing Christmas songs composed with children.

The Ring (Wagner) – art, music and design project, repeating ‘Dream’ format: children attended fully-staged promenade performance at Cochrane Theatre, with different scenes designed by students from Central Saint Martins, then children redesigned certain scenes in school, rebuilt as interactive installation in Pooles Park Primary School with scenes re-created by the original professional singers.

Heartland (Obermüller) – an Islington community show to open new Platform Arts Centre. EPOC provided Pooles Park choirs to take part in new commission from composer Jude Obermüller and writer Nicky Singer with Scarabeus Aerial Theatre Company and Candoco.

Opera Blocks – family show, in a summer run at London’s Little Opera House, Coram Fields 75th anniversary celebrations, Camp Bestival and the Unicorn Theatre’s UFest Ring Round the World (Churchill) – part of the London 2012 Festival (the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad), Ring Round the World was a newly-commissioned jazz opera largely created, performed and recorded by children. The result was an opera in 162 scenes – one for nearly every major world nation. It was depicted across 32 fully-staged performances in 6 theatres (4 in London and 2 in Cambridgeshire). The 162 children’s scenes were achieved through a 5-step education project, involving school twinning with one specific world nation, teacher-training, interactive performances in schools for c.40,000 children, in-depth artist residency work, and performances in professional theatres with 5,000 children.

Bluebeard’s Castle (Bartok) – an annual project in its 6th year. It was run in conjunction with long-term partner Central St. Martin’s (CSM) BA Theatre: design for performance course – University of the Arts London. EPOC worked with 9 tertiary-level students to design and create performances of the opera at the Platform Theatre, Kings Cross. In addition, there was a 5-step Art and Design Project for classes of primary school children which included half term-long design/music projects to design and fabricate their musical and visual responses to what they had seen, heard and learned after visiting studios at an art college and attending performances of an opera.

EPOC in the community – EPOC worked from within its host state Primary School both in and out of school hours, with children, families, parents, staff and local community. Opera Opened Up – a series of practical workshops and interactive presentations across all aspects of the operatic art.

Training – In addition to project-based CPD and training for teachers, volunteers and animateurs, EPOC was able to offer placement opportunities to several long-term educational partners including: Central School of Speech and Drama, Goldsmiths College, University of London; and Fontys University Netherlands.

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| EPOC 3-year plan 2016 – 19

Year

EPOC Timeline 1993-2016

Notes

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Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) –run in conjunction with long-term partner Central St. Martin’s (CSM) BA Theatre: design for performance course – University of the Arts London. EPOC worked with 9 tertiary-level students to design and create performances of the opera at the Platform Theatre, Kings Cross. In addition, there was a 5-step Art and Design Project for classes of primary school children.

Annabel Lee becomes chair of EPOC.

EPOC helps set up CAMS Music Trust (Cambridgeshire-based).

EPOC moves to offices in Camden primary school (Argyle).

EPOC begins long-term partnership with Cambridgeshire Music Service.

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Training – In addition to project-based CPD and training for teachers, volunteers and animateurs, EPOC was able to offer placement opportunities to several long-term educational partners including: Central School of Speech and Drama, Goldsmiths College, University of London; and Fontys University Netherlands.

EPOC in the community – EPOC worked from within its host state Primary School both in and out of school hours, with children, families, parents, staff and local community. EPOC ran school singing assemblies, a school choir, lead introduction sessions as part of a family programme (FAST), and were involved in the creation of a new recording studio. Opera Opened Up – a series of practical workshops and interactive presentations across all aspects of the operatic art.

Orpheus and Eurydice (Gluck) – comprehensive programme of work with all of 55 of Camden’s schools culminating in a performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Also a project over two terms to work with over 700 children at the College Francais Bilingue de Londres (CFBL). Plus, with Central St Martins project with 7 local schools.

Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky) – a new sung/performing edition of Tchaikovsky’s ballet for Year 3&4 children.
CAMS Music Trust – EPOC help in the formation of a new music charity CAMS Music Trust – to help establish a regular singing programme in Cambridgeshire state schools. Macbeth (Verdi) – run in conjunction with long-term partner Central St. Martin’s (CSM) BA Theatre: design for performance course – University of the Arts London. EPOC worked with 8 tertiary-level students to design and create performances of the opera at the Platform Theatre, Kings Cross

Opera Hotpot – EPOC’s one-hour, interactive presentation for schools in 26 Cambridgeshire Schools, 55 Camden schools and 2 in Haringey.
Little Britten – partnerships with Cambridgeshire Music, Aldeburgh Music’s Friday Afternoons to produce concert with 12 Cambridge schools at Cambridge’s Corn Exchange.

SingFest Bosnia – a new venture that started with this pilot project in Oct/Nov 2015. We visited 6 schools in Mostar – 3 on the East side and 3 on the West amongst the two of the constituent peoples (Croatian/Catholic and Bosnian/Muslim).
The Magic Flute (Mozart) new joint production with the Classic Buskers touring to UK South Korea, China, Germany and Mexico.

Dream (Purcell/Shakespeare) – 45-min version with a choir of 2000 children (from 55 Camden schools).
Music is Special (Carslake & Stockbridge) – composition and performance project with 6 special schools from 3 London boroughs. Partners: Camden Music Service, Central St. Martins, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Camden Music Trust.

United Learning National Tour – national tour of a range of workshops with United Learning, a group of over 50 schools both primary and secondary.
Messiah (Handel) – Cambridge partnership with CAMS Music Trust and community orchestras and choirs.

Opera in a Day – Carmen (Bizet) – tour to 4 schools of new ‘Opera in a Day’ workshop project. For c.60 children who learn five choruses from the opera and play all the main roles culminating in performances for parent.
‘Dream’ at Argyle Primary School! – Based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (MSND) with music from Purcell’s Fairy Queen, ‘Dream’ will be created over a whole term and a half and involve all 400+ children in the school.

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