Norwich High pupils enjoy some opera fun at the Maddermarket Theatre

06:30 18 August 2012

Composer Patrick Hawes working with a group of children from Stafford House (Junior Department) at Norwich High School.
 Visions of Norfolk: Towards the Light event.

Picture: James Bass

Composer Patrick Hawes working with a group of children from Stafford House (Junior Department) at Norwich High School. Visions of Norfolk: Towards the Light event. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Young singers were in fine voice rehearsing an excerpt of a children’s opera at Norwich’s Maddermarket Theatre.

The Norwich High pupils aged eight to 11 worked with the theatre’s patron of music Patrick Hawes yesterday on music from his children’s show, A King’s Ransom. They will perform the music at Mr Hawes’ concert Visions of Norfolk: Towards The Light at the theatre on Saturday, September 1, to give the audience a taste of the opera which the Maddermarket is hoping to stage with a number of schools next year.

Genevieve Raghu, the theatre’s artistic director, said: “The idea of including A King’s Ransom in the concert is that we wanted to share with the audience that this is an opera we would like to stage with lots of schools next summer. We are looking for schools to get involved from across the region. The plan is that Patrick and I will do music and drama workshops with the schools, and then we will bring all the schools to the Maddermarket for a couple of performances. It is a project that aims to brings schools together from around the region.”

Mr Hawes said: “A King’s Ransom is set in the time of Robin Hood but you never meet Robin Hood or his men.

“It is about the discovery of beauty in the most unexpected and unusual of places.”

About yesterday’s rehearsal, Mr Hawes said: “The children did really well. They are such nice children and so musical.”

Francis Fox, the head of music in Norwich High’s junior department, said the school was very pleased to be involved in the project and it was a great opportunity for the children.

• Visions of Norfolk: Towards the Light is at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 1. The concert will also feature paintings by artist David Dane. Tickets £12.00 (under 18s £5). For more about the concert and to book visit

• Schools interested in taking part in The King’s Ransom next year should email

• Are you involved in a new arts project?

Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email


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