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2024 OperaFirst Secondary: Marriage of Figaro

A young girl in a blue polo shirt wraps a long light blue sash around herself.

OperaFirst gives an exceptional opportunity to a new generation of young people to study musical and dramatic themes of an opera through an in-school workshop before experiencing a full-scale performance at Wormsley. Ordinarily this is a schools’ performance, specially put on to offer our young understudy cast the valuable opportunity to perform with orchestra to a warm and enthusiastic audience. We are passionate about introducing young people to the wonderful and varied genre of opera and our teams enjoy collaborating and exchanging ideas with pupils on projects that wouldn’t typically happen in their school.

The Workshops

Rob Gildon (Director) will be joined by Michael Betteridge (Composer) and a 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 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 to see if that is possible.

Five girls of secondary school age wearing dark and light blue uniforms stand in a small group laughing together.

The Performance

Performance Information

Location: Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate, nr Stokenchurch HP14 3YG Date: Wednesday 10 July 2024
Grounds open for picnics: 4-4:30pm (exact time TBC)
Performance: Late afternoon/early evening but to finish by approximately 9pm
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

The Marriage of Figaro

Set three years after the Barber of Seville, when Figaro debuted his match-making skills, the time has come for his own wedding to fellow servant Susanna! Unfortunately, their boss, the Count has other ideas when he seems to want her for himself, which doesn’t go down well with the Countess…

In Mozart’s comedy of mistaken identity with twists and turns, watch as the Countess and Figaro decide to team up to teach the Count a lesson, but will there still be a wedding?

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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