Alexandra Palace and ROH collaborate to increase arts access for young people

Juwon Ogungbe with pupils from St Thomas More Catholic School
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School children will perform their response to an opera in one of two events organised by London’s Alexandra Palace to increase young people’s participation in the arts.

Alexandra Palace has also teamed up with BAFTA for an event that will see 1,000 primary school children and 80 secondary pupils from 19 schools across Haringey visit the park and palace to learn about careers in TV and film.

On July 14, school children will perform before the first live screening of Puccini’s Turandot by the Royal Opera House at Alexandra Palace.

Workshops led by musician and singer Juwon Ogungbe will help prepare secondary students from three local schools to perform their own response to the opera.

Ogungbe said: “My love of music has evolved from my upbringing in both Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

“I have an innate curiosity and interest in blending different styles and musical vocabulary.

“These young people will be exploring the inner workings of opera, performing choruses from Turandot and creating their own unique response to this music and the plot.”

He added: “This is a one-off addition to the production which has never been done before. I am thrilled to be working with them for this inspiring performance.”

BAFTA’s Kids Big School Day at Alexandra Palace, which has run in previous years at other venues but will be at its biggest ever this year, will take place on June 20.

The event will offer an insight into careers in film and television, including workshops in areas such as script writing, animation, and prop making.

The two projects are supported with funding from Heritage Lottery Funding and the Tottenham Grammar Foundation.

Louise Stewart, chief executive of Alexandra Park and Palace Trust, said: “Education and learning runs through the heart of everything we do and we provide interactive experiences that young people simply cannot find elsewhere.

“The park and palace has played host to some truly great performances, each supported by a cast and crew of hundreds. By encouraging participation among young people today we can help secure the future stars and backstage heroes of tomorrow.”