300 students from Barking and Dagenham, on the 21st of March were given the chance to experience a day at the Royal Opera House. The day was action packed, with talks, backstage tours, workshops and capped off with the performances of “After the Rain” and “Flight Pattern” choreographed by the very acclaimed Christopher Wheeldon and Crystal Pite.
My journey started off at my former secondary school, Eastbury Comprehensive. I was assigned to the school for the whole day to support their journey. With the coach arriving at the school, it was very clear that the students couldn't contain their excitement of leaving school grounds and being on a double decker coach.
Students were keen to find out more about would be going on once we got to the Royal Opera House. One student asked whether they would be lucky enough to see the Queen when they got there. Of course they didn't, but touring the Queen's booth at the ROH, offered just as much pleasure amongst the students.
The tours and workshops, brought out very attentive and engrossed students, inspired by the whole affair, with continuous pauses throughout the proceedings for questions and comments. Students asked how they could end up working here, how much the orchestra were paid and also how they could go about getting on to the stage one day. The vast majority of students hadn't been to the Royal Opera House and weren't disappointed by what they got to see, the ballet rehearsal rooms were of particular interest to the students.
After lunch, the the final performances took place, which were well and truly breath-taking, giving many students their first experience of ballet in such contemporary fashion. The students were highly engaged by the performances, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. When the performances ended and the performers took their last bow, the students gave a very enthusiastic applause, talking amongst themselves on how they found the performances. Not so long after we were on the coach back to Barking & Dagenham.
One student asked if they could ever go back, I told him that the Royal Opera House is only a train journey away and is open to everyone.