1,000 pupils perform in largest ever UK staging of Carmen at London’s Olympic Park


Last night the Copper Box Arena in London’s Olympic Park was filled with the sights and sounds of Seville as United Learning pupils gave a once-in-a-lifetime performance of Bizet’s Carmen.

Over 1,000 pupils and staff from more than 35 schools nationwide came together to perform in the UK’s largest ever staging of Carmen.  The performance was the culmination of a year-long project inspired by the Royal Opera House’s Create and Sing programme in partnership with United Learning, English Pocket Opera Company and The Voices Foundation.

From Accrington in the North West to Bournemouth on the South coast, pupils from schools across the country came together for this unique event.  The project, which sought to introduce pupils to the world of opera, is part of United Learning’s commitment to deliver Education with Character, providing a breadth of opportunities and experiences ensuring pupils become confident, well-rounded and ambitious young adults.

The performance, staged and directed by the English Pocket Opera Company delighted the audience, including guests from the world of opera, music and education.  Supported by four professional singers and a 14-piece orchestra, United Learning pupils worked for six months to bring this dynamic new show to the stage.

The Royal Opera House’s free Create and Sing programme, includes intensive teacher training and a suite of curriculum-linked digital resources and lesson plans, encouraging pupils to embrace musical culture and enjoy opera through participation and performance.

Davey-Blue Robson, a pupil at Abbey Hey Primary Academy in Manchester, said:

“Being part of Carmen is a dream come true. The singing is amazing and performing in front of all these people is mind blowing.”

Create and Sing Carmen is generously supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mohn Westlake Foundation, Gonzalo and Maria Garcia, Crevan O’Grady & Jane McClenahan, Teale Foundation and two anonymous supporters.