Halls Head students warm up their vocal chords in preparation of Opera Australia Visit

Sing a song: South Halls Head Primary and Halls Head College students practice for Opera Australia's visit. Photo: Facebook/MPAC.
Sing a song: South Halls Head Primary and Halls Head College students practice for Opera Australia's visit. Photo: Facebook/MPAC.

Halls Head College and South Halls Head Primary School students have shown remarkable progress in preparing for their Opera Australia-hosted production of The Marriage of Figaro, clearly inspired by the high-calibre artists currently preparing to meet them.

Students form each school have come together to learn chorus sections from the lauded Mozart opera, with Opera Australia’s Chorus Master Joshua van Konkelenberg and Lyndon Terracini set to guide them through the production.

South Halls Head Primary School music teacher Rose Brown said students from both the primary school and college jumped at the opportunity to take part.

“These aren’t just music or drama students, these are students from everywhere,” she said.

“We didn’t want to just limit it to those students who regularly do this kind of thing, we wanted to open it up to those who want to give it a chance to the first time. So we held open auditions.”

Ms Brown said she was pleasantly surprised by how the chorus turned out.

“We had boys coming in, by themselves, saying they wanted to have a go, which is pretty rare,” she said.

“Just the amount of students that have seen this and taken it as an opportunity to take a shot, it’s made us really proud.”

As the video shows, the students already have a good handle of the distinctly strict melodies of operatic singing.

“The video’s actually of only the second rehearsal of both school groups together,” Ms Brown said.

“We were really blown away by how determined they all were.”

The chorus has been organised by Opera Australia as an opportunity for students to learn form some of the best voices in the business, as well as possibly line up opportunities with the industry in the future.

“This is the second time we’ve been this involved with Opera Australia, after we did The Magic Flute,” Ms Brown said.

“We’re so grateful to Opera Australia, they’ve been a really big part of a lot of students building their confidence.

“And it’s building all these relationships – between the students and the professional industry, but also between the schools and then the community, where there’s spreading interest.”

Ms Brown said exposure to not only the knowledge of professional-level opera singers, but also their voices, has been an eye-opening experience.

“The minute they open their mouths, the students jaws just drop,” she said.

“You don’t know the level of power and volume they have unless you hear it in person. It’s been a veruy moving experience for them.”

Students and budding singers will audition for Opera Australia on August 18 and 19.

The Marriage of Figaro plays on the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre’s main stage on Saturday August 19 from 7.30pm.

For tickets, go to manpac.com.au or call 9550 3900.