Students at New City College had the chance to write, work and perform with professional opera singers as part of the English National Opera’s Finish This programme, which aims to develop language skills, creativity and confidence.
Around 50 16-18-year-old students, who are all on ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses at the college’s campuses in Redbridge, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, benefited from the exciting five-week collaboration between the college and the English National Opera (ENO) – which culminated in a wonderful performance and show where students shared the work they had created with their friends, family and invited guests.
The Finish This programme brings classical music into the classroom in a meaningful way to support English language learning through drama, singing and song-writing. It is also a way of engaging with young people from diverse backgrounds who don’t normally get to experience opera.
During the project students visited the ENO’s London Coliseum Theatre in the West End, where they watched part of a stage rehearsal of the opera Boheme, and were able to find out about the different professional roles within the industry.
Back at college, they were treated to Opera Pop-Up sessions where they heard professional singers up close and enjoyed some spontaneous and powerful performances.