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24 September 2014
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Schoolchildren from Sheffield who took part
Children from schools in Sheffield

Local stars of Flashmob

Opera at Meadowhall? Who would have thought it? Despite the secrecy of the event the Flashmob Opera emerged as a great opportunity for people from the region to appear in the BBC3 production.

Shoppers raised a few eyebrows when BBC3 descended on the SY shopping mecca to present their latest Flashmob production, but it was people from the region who participated to bring the opera together.

Despite the secrecy surrounding the event the BBC had been working with people locally for over six months.

The Chapeltown Silver Prize Band
Band from Chapeltown played with the BBC Orchestra

From the management staff at Meadowhall to the Flashmobbers themselves, vocalists, including the Sheffield Teachers' Operatic Society, schoolchildren and the Chapeltown Silver Prize Band who supported the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Principal BBC percussionist Alasdair Malloy held three workshops for children from the Woodthorpe Community Primary, Brunswick Primary and Tapton Secondary schools.

The schoolchildren used mops, bins, food trays even shopping baskets to perform percussion towards the end of the opera and some were fortunate enough to be selected to push Richard, played by Mark Stone into the furnace ending the performance.

Girls aged 10 upwards from the renowned Cantamus Girls Choir had come from as far as Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire as well as our own region to perform.

"We gave a concert just before Christmas and one of the BBC freelance producers came to see it," said Cantamus secretary Sheila Haslam.

"He [producer] was so impressed with the girls that he went to the BBC producer that he knew who might be interested, and it was she who saw the opportunity of introducing Cantamus."

"They said they wanted a little girl to sing a song at the end and remarked they would like a child of about eight... the director of the choir having heard Hannah said let's put her forward... and Hannah so impressed them she got the part."

Rising star

Hannah with Rebecca Von Lipinski
Hannah held by Rebecca who played Sophie Faust

We spoke with nine-year-old Hanna who performed 'Where Is Love?' from Oliver between her rehersal and the live televised performance:

BBC SY: How do you feel now the rehersal is over?

I'm actually a bit nervous but I do like it... just about five minutes before it actually starts, that's the bit I really like the most.

BBC SY: Did you think it went well, were you pleased with it?

I was very pleased with it, very pleased. It's been very exciting, I'll certainly have a lot to tell my friends when I get back to school and have got the video to show them all, it's been very very exciting.

It's sometimes nerve wracking, when I went to Ealing Studios last Sunday I was nervous at the start, I didn't really do anything before lunchtime and I thought I was very pleased that I'd done it.

BBC SY: Would you like to become an actress or take up singing?

Well my brother thinks I've got quite a running talent, so I don't know, I'm lingering between the two.

BBC SY: After your song the opera singer, Rebecca picks you up and sings while she's holding you, what's that like?

It's very nice to sing with somebody rather than on your own, I always find it's less nervous if you're singing with somebody rather than actually on your own.

To listen to the interview with Hannah or take a look at other features click on the links on the right hand side of this page.

last updated: 12/04/05
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