London SE1 website team

Bermondsey kids star in opera project

Children aged between 3 and 4 years at Whitstable Early Years Centre in Bermondsey have been showing off their performing skills in a new project run by artists from ENO Baylis, the education team at English National Opera.

This unique project – The Journey of the Ring – is one of the first of its kind to be designed for children of the early years age group, and is based on the opera The Rhinegold, the first part of Wagner's epic Ring cycle.

The project aims to develop communication and language skills through drama, storytelling and music workshops, led by ENO artists Claire Underwood and Gareth Malone.

Pat Wells, Manager of Whitstable Early Years Centre, said: "There is a real buzz in the air at Whitstable over this exciting new project with ENO Baylis. The children taking part are having so much fun, being drawn into the wonderful world of gnomes and giants through movement and song, they are even retelling the stories and singing the songs at home. The staff have been amazed at how well our large group of children, all aged under 4, have worked together and encouraged each other to express their vivid imaginations, it's wonderful."

The 4-week project will end on Tuesday 11 February with a grand finale performance by the children involved.

The Journey of the Ring was developed by ENO Baylis and is funded by the Pool of London Partnership through the Government's Single Regeneration Budget Challenge Fund.

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