A GROUP of school pupils are preparing to take to the stage alongside the Russian State Ballet in a production of Carmen.
Students from Stagecoach School in Havant will perform at Portsmouth Guildhall on Sunday.
The six children taking part in the performance – Aaron Gilbrook, Jenifer Wade, Kia Sandy, Charlotte Avery, Darcey Moore and Tillie Moore – were picked by Stagecoach singing teacher James Fitzgerald.
Charlotte, 11, said she is looking forward to taking part.
‘It will be a good experience, I’m excited about it,’ she said.
‘Singing in an opera is very different to what we usually do but I’m enjoying it. I found singing in French difficult at the start, but I’m starting to get the hang of it now.’
Mr Fitzgerald admitted that singing in French in an opera is not something the children are used to, but they are doing well so far.
‘We’re proud of the hard work these children have done in preparing for this production,’ he said.
Stagecoach principal Juli Richards added: ‘We auditioned within the group to find six suitable children for the performance.
‘It’s absolutely brilliant for the children, the experience and confidence they gain from performing in front of strangers will be invaluable for them.’
‘We are lucky enough to have a brilliant singing teacher here, James Fitzgerald, and he has helped massively.’
Producer Alexej Ignatow, of Amande Concerts, said: ‘We like to have a local touch to our operas.
‘We did something similar in London and the show went down really well. The kids have been brilliant and settled in very well so far.’
Stagecoach in Havant has been running for 18 years, and most children come along to develop their confidence and life skills, as well as using it as a stepping stone to go on to study musical theatre.
For more information and tickets, visit amande-concerts.co.uk.