Headlines, we need headlines! That’s what the chorus of the press declared on Friday afternoon, and it can only be: ‘Denbeath Fever Triumph!’
Pupils in primary 5-7 at the Buckhaven primary school sang their hearts out as part of a special programme devised by Scottish Opera.
The first time the school has taken part, the pupils were given songs to learn from 2016’s offering, ‘Fever’, written by Alan Penman and Allan Dunn.
They then had an intensive choreography session with three Scottish Opera members on Friday morning, before performing the whole spectacle to the rest of the school, their parents and family members in the afternoon.
Denbeath is just one school of many which will be taking on the challenge of performing the child-friendly opera this spring and summer. A programme which has run for over 50 years, the Scottish Opera Primary Schools Tour gives children from Dumfries to Shetland the chance to try something they might never have had before. It involved over 10,000 pupils last year alone, and has even travelled as far as Hong Kong.
Scottish Opera members Lee Reynolds, Greig Baxter and Lucy Hutchison, along with sound engineer Harry McNamara, were there to coach the children during their rehearsals, as well as performing the solo parts, and Lucy explained that the programme works hand in hand with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.
“Every year, a new opera is written which goes along with the Curriculum for Excellence – this year, we’re focussing on the immune system – and it aims to make education fun and exciting for the children.”
Lucy, who has been involved with the programme for the last four years, added: “This reaches so many kids all over the country, meaning many of them can take part in something that they just wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.
“It has been really great to come to Denbeath as well, because while some schools we work with have done this lots of times before, this is the first time Denbeath has been involved.
“It’s so fantastic to see all of the children getting involved and really surprising themselves too.”
Jane Smith, Denbeath’s music teacher, who helped to get the school involved, was delighted with the performance and the effort shown by all involved.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to the team at Scottish Opera.
“Very few of the children here at Denbeath have had experience with the performing arts, but the story line of ‘Fever’ and the music have really captured their imaginations.
“Thanks to this, the kids have had the chance to listen to lots of different kinds of music, and we’ve had the whole school involved.
“It’s so fantastic to see the children so enthusiastic because two days ago, there were some that were paralysed with fear – and now they’ve just performed to a full audience.”