Magdalen College School teams up with primary schools to produce opera

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Magdalen College School community opera audience
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Magdalen College School has teamed up with seven primary schools to create the show Birdland

Hundreds of children have performed in a community opera in a bid to bring back the "joy" of performance for youngsters after the pandemic.

Magdalen College School (MCS) in Oxford has teamed up with seven primary schools to create the show Birdland.

The 400 pupils have worked with composer Bob Chilcott, who described it as a "very special project".

The show premiered at Oxford Playhouse and runs until Saturday.

The community opera brings together MCS performers and schoolchildren as they tell the story of a world where those with the best voice have the most power.

Image caption,
The community opera is being performed at the Oxford Playhouse

Mr Chilcott said: "It has brought in students from a number of local schools at a time when, post pandemic, music has to work hard to stay on the agenda within education and within life generally.

"It also shows us how important it is for young people to perform together, to create together and to experience the joy of connecting with audiences."

Mr Chilcott collaborated with award-winning poet Charles Bennett to produce the musical.

Helen Pike, master at MCS, said: "We have waited three years to be able to do this, but the Birdsong will be all the sweeter now."

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