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2024 OperaFirst Primary: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Primary school aged children in uniforms stand in the rows of tiered seating. They are all smiling and singing along to a workshop led off-camera.

Our OperaFirst format for Primary Schools offers an interactive performance at Wormsley guided by a presenter. The children will sing songs that they have learnt in their workshop as a massed chorus and watch scenes from the opera. Presenters will narrate the show, inviting students to join in sections with the singers, explore the orchestra, and get an insight into what is happening backstage. We hope that this will be a fun and interactive experience and wonderful trip to the opera!

The Workshops

Karen Gillingham (Director) will be joined by Aga Serugo-Lugo (Composer) and a professional singer to deliver intensive one-day workshops using the successful ‘Create an Opera’ format. Starting with warm-ups and team building activities, the whole group will then explore the music and story, devising their own melodies, words and movements as well as performing songs directly from the opera to other classes at the end of the day if time allows. Pupils will need to be off-timetable for the whole day in a space big enough for everyone to move around freely. We are happy to accommodate different groups: ie a single year group, music specialist groups, a combination of two year groups, etc.

All Garsington Opera team and staff are DBS checked but there must be a teacher present in the workshop.

Workshops must have a minimum of 20 students and can accommodate up to approximately 30 students per workshop. If you think you may have more than 30 participants, please contact us directly as this may be possible.

A group of primary aged children in dark green uniforms take part in a workshop led by a man, crouching in the centre wearing a black t-shirt. The children are reaching for the sky as high as they can go.

The Performance

Performance Information

Location: Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate, nr Stokenchurch HP14 3YG Date: Thursday 4 July 2024
Grounds open for picnics: 12 noon
Performance: 1-2.15pm

Cost: £7 per pupil (1 free teacher ticket per 10 pupils)
The cost includes participation in the workshop and a seat at the final performance. Payment to be made in advance of the workshop.
Transport: This needs to be arranged by the school; students will be ready to leave as soon as the performance has finished.
Transport Bursary: Non-selective, state schools are eligible to apply for our transport bursary. Priority will be given to those schools/organisations with:

  • higher than average proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals
  • lack of opportunities to experience music and the arts

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Our story begins on a midsummer’s evening… In an enchanted forest on the outskirts of Athens, this adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tale of magic and confusion is driven by Oberon, King of the Fairies and his mischievous servant, Puck, who uses a love potion which causes mayhem and confusion! We end up with Tytania, the Queen of the Fairies falling in love with Bottom the Weaver, who has been transformed into a donkey. It’s a spectacular display of creatures, madness and magic!

Join us next year!

If you would like your school to be part of our 2025 OperaFirst programme, please follow the enquiry form below.

Enquire for 2025

If you have any specific questions, please email

We are grateful to generous donors and trusts for enabling this project to take place at such a subsidised cost.
Each workshop day alone costs in excess of £1,000 to deliver.

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