|The excerpts from The Raven King at
the Albert Hall were presented by the Caerphilly Kids Opera Group in
South Wales, UK.
They are the KidsOp partners in Wales, using children
from a number of schools in the Caerphilly County Borough Council school
district - the home area of Mervyn Burtch, our composer.
For this performance, their organizer and conductor, Keith
Ellerington, brought together 500 children aged 8 to 12 from ten
schools. Keith and Mervyn then went round all the schools rehearsing
them individually, so that their contribution would be consistent. Then
they brought them all together for the final rehearsals in Ystrad Mynach,
Mervyn's home town.
You can imagine the organization required to bus 500
kids to London... And get them back (we are told that the children were
so exctied on the way back that none of them slept - and they didn't
return until 3:30 in the morning!)
Rehearsing at the Lewis Girls'
The Year Three class at Ystrad Mynach
|Together with the 500 Welsh
children were four children from Alberta, Canada, who had taken part in
the Banff Arts Festival production of The Raven King. They
had wonderful time, making new friends, staying with families in
the area, visiting schools, and generally promoting cultural exchange!
Janice Tole, KidsOp's musical director, was with them,
and she visited the Year Three class at Ystrad Mynach Junior School, and
arranged with them an exchange with her Grade 2 class at Norwood School,
|Also with them was Peter Murray, who has
played Ma Murray in Coyote and the Winter that Never Ends, and
the Wizard in both Wizard Things and The Raven King (he's
also Vice=President of KidsOp!). He brought a specially-made plaque over
from Alberta to commemorate the occasion, and in the picture on the
right he is presenting it to Mrs. Kirkham, Headmistress of Ystrad Mynach
|The Canadians also got the chance to see
some of the wonderful sites of South Wales - here are a few of them!
St. David's Cathedral
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