Bizet’s Carmen performed by professional cast and youngsters

operatic stars: St Edmunds Catholic School and Charter Academy students who form the chorus in the New Theatre Royal's production of Bizet's Carmen.
operatic stars: St Edmunds Catholic School and Charter Academy students who form the chorus in the New Theatre Royal's production of Bizet's Carmen.
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SCHOOLCHILDREN are proving opera is not the preserve of an elite few as they take part in a professional production of Bizet’s Carmen on a Portsmouth stage.

Fifty youngsters from St Edmund’s Catholic School in Landport and Charter Academy in Somers Town will be singing alongside members of the Co-Opera Co to audiences at the New Theatre Royal this week.

Since October the students, who form the chorus, have been rehearsing with the opera company that normally works with musicians at postgraduate level.

Naomi Carter, assistant vice-principal at Charter, added: ‘Being involved in a high-brow art form like opera is a fantastic opportunity for them to access parts of the world they would not normally be able to. Why should opera be the preserve of the rich and private schools?

‘Our students are getting so much out of the experience. We’re all looking forward to seeing them on stage!’

To get tickets costing £10 to £20 (£8-£13 concessions) to the performances this Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm email

newtheatreroyal.com

or call 023 9264 9000.