Hackney Music Development Trust   Jubilee Opera

 HMDT In Schools Archive

 HMDT Archive home

Jubilee Opera


Made possible with the generous support of:

A Hackney Anthem [ pdf ]
London Imagined [ pdf ]
The Jubilee Opera Book [ pdf ]

Liz Murray-Bligh



Jubilee Opera Project

The World Was All Before Them

The Jubilee opera project which involved the whole school community, took place over 18 months and culminated in performances of a new work The World Was All Before Them to celebrate the opening of the school's new hall in June 2004.

Jubilee OperaIt began in February 2003 when writer Alasdair Middleton talked to fifty parents about how they had come to Hackney. He then selected a few stories and developed them with students from Years 4 and 5 in a series of drama and writing workshops to assist him with writing the libretto. Composer Matthew King then led a series of composition workshops to develop musical ideas of how the words should be set to music and completed the opera using many of the students' ideas.

Jubilee OperaFollowing a Staff Design Inset, Designer Andrea Carr's small student design team worked with her to produce a wealth of ideas, paintings and sketches which she then realised, first as a coherent design of set and costumes and second as a series of carefully assigned tasks which the whole school implemented. In the summer 75 students began rehearsing with Director Denni Sayers and Music Director Jill Farrow whilst the rest of the school were still hard at work making tickets, writing to special guests and training to be box office and front of house staff.

Jubilee OperaAt the crux of all this preparatory artistic work was the school work and curricular development in which staff had creatively used the themes and issues of the opera to explore their teaching. Thus, every child at the school was immersed in the opera The World Was All Before Them not only creatively through art, music and production work but also in their every day literacy, numeracy and curricular studies.

Image gallery

Jubilee OperaJubilee Opera
Jubilee OperaJubilee Opera
Jubilee OperaJubilee Opera
Jubilee OperaJubilee Opera
Jubilee OperaJubilee Opera
Jubilee OperaJubilee Opera

Costume design

Jubilee OperaJubilee OperaJubilee OperaJubilee OperaJubilee OperaJubilee Opera



Songs to Download

A Hackney Anthem
[ pdf ]
London Imagined [ pdf ]

Jubilee Opera
Doing the opera was great, it was an experience not many children get to take part in. The best thing was that when we were singing songs we weren't taught the song in a particular way, we were split into smaller groups and we got to sing the song in any way we wanted to. We were given the words and we got to create out own song - I really felt part of the design process! It was more than just a chance to sing freely, but a chance to express ourselves by using our voices.
Leigh Charles aged 11

Jubilee Opera

ear Diary, I'm sorry I haven't written in you for a long time but I've been doing loads of fun work. After I told you about the banners I have done a building griding. This is how we made the buildings. We had pieces of paper and we had to make a tower of a house. Then we had to stick it together and paint them and put windows on. ...I found the griding hard because when I was painting I kept going outside of the line. Now I'm looking forward to making finger puppets.
Shaloma Abraham aged 7

Jubilee Opera
I was excited about the whole idea behind the opera which enabled me to put something back into the school which has given my children a lot. I enjoyed being creative, and working as a team with the other parents.

Andrea Olbrys, Parent

Jubilee Opera
I have been able to make use of the opera in different aspects of the curriculum. It has made me use a variety of learning styles because some children were better writing about it, some making things and some acting out the story. The cross-curricular learning has given me a chance to go back to the way I used to teach!

Chris, Teacher at Jubilee School

Jubilee Opera
I've discovered the amazing, delicate talents inside everyone's heart and that no matter what culture we are, deep down beneath use we all seek the same thing 'peace'. I felt so proud knowing how much touching emotion, love and young talent had been put into this opera, so I knew I could do it... I've learned how many difficult and terrifying times some people have gone through and how it is so important to be kind to them. Bryher Litten-Beatty age 9 No matter what you do you are still part of a team. If you put your mind to something you can accomplish it.
Vinay Gozra aged 10

Jubilee Opera
One of my favourite parts about being in the opera was when we first had to get up on stage and start acting out parts out because I thought it was quite amazing that I could get on stage and not be afraid to start singing and acting in front of people.
Candice Elias aged 10

Jubilee Opera


Back to top



HMDT Music
Second Floor
22 Aldermans Hill
London N13 4PN
Tel: 020 8882 8825
Fax: 020 8882 6253


© 2006 HMDT Music. All Rights Reserved.
contact HMDT
contact web manager