Grand opera put on by schools in Rugby

The cast of Dido and Aeneas
The cast of Dido and Aeneas

The ancient and tragic tale of Dido and Aeneas is being performed for the public by pupils at Avon Valley School this weekend.

The opera tells of love, honour and duty in the city of Carthage and is set to the music of 17th century composer Henry Purcell. Students from Avon Valley School, Lawrence Sheriff School and Rugby High School have been rehearsing in preparation for the performance since September 2014.

The cast and chorus comprise students from from Avon Valley and Lawrence Sheriff, with the orchestra made up of students from Lawrence Sheriff and Rugby High. A number of Year 9 Avon Valley pupils will take on backstage roles such as managing lighting and sound equipment, while others will welcome members of the public at the front of house. The performance’s musical director is singing teacher Emma Griffiths.

Headteacher Alison Davies said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to take part in something different and working with youngsters from other schools. I am always immensely impressed with our school’s performances and I am really looking forward to this one.”

Sheila Allen, curriculum leader for performing arts, said: “As a school we have never had a performance quite like this one.

“It is the first time we’ve worked with students from across Rugby, and for many of the students taking part in this it will give them a new musical experience and push them out of their musical comfort zone.”

Sophie Crane, a Year 9 student and member of the production, said: “Having worked in the show last year, this is very different. It has been a great opportunity for both the cast and crew. It’s certainly one to remember.”

The performance will be held in Avon Valley’s state-of-the-art theatre on Friday and Saturday from 7pm-8pm. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £4 for concessions.

Call 01788 542355 for more information.