Full Circle – Community Opera

Over 18 months, Newham Music worked in partnership with Lister Community School to create an original opera with the help of students, parents, and musicians from the community, based on the inspiring story of one of Newham’s own residents. They were joined by pupils from Sarah Bonnell, Rokeby, and five local primaries and together created Newham’s Community Opera – Full Circle. 

Composer John Barber and librettist (she writes the words) Hazel Gould led workshops where students, teachers and community members came together to create a meaningful piece of art that connected with real people today. ‘Full Circle’ is a relevant and modern opera written by the people of Newham, for the people of Newham.

Check out this behind the scenes video from UEL which shows the journey from inception to performance – really bringing the project Full Circle. 


Full Circle: Remixed

Throughout 2019 we worked with more partners, more schools, and LOTS more talented young people to bring Newham’s community opera to the Royal Albert Hall for the Music for Youth Proms 2019. We took over 700 young musicians to one of the most prestigious performance venues in the world, where they were the headline act!

It took months of preparation – learning the songs, writing new spoken word narrations, and practising as a huge 700+ ensemble from schools across the borough. It was all worth it when Newham’s young people impressed a huge audience and shared their hometown story. You can see all of more images from the Royal Albert Hall performance here.

Newham’s Community Opera would have never been possible without the support of our partners and funders. Special thanks to Aspers Good Causes Fund, Arts Council England, Counterpoints Arts, D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Ernest Hecht Charitable Trust, Jack Petchey Foundation, London Borough of Newham, Royal Docks: Join the Docks, and Southbank Centre.

Jack Petchey FoundationNational Foundation For Youth MusicArts Council England

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