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The Croft Preparatory School

Dulce et Forte

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Magical Moments from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas

Choral Workshop Report

On the Friday 18 October, The Croft Senior Choir, along with fifty children from local schools in our area, participated in a Choral Workshop arranged by the Stratford on Avon Music Festival. The aim of the workshop was for us to experience magical moments from Henry Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’.

We gathered in The Croft Theatre to warm our voices up and were then split into two choirs. One choir went with Mr Harris, the other with Mr Shortman. I was in Mr Shortman’s choir. We learnt a song called, ‘Double Double, Toil and Trouble’ which uses the famous words of the three witches, in Shakespeare’s play, ‘Macbeth’. We also sang two choruses from Purcell’s opera, ‘Harm’s our delight’ and ‘In a deep vaulted cell’.

The other choir learnt a different song called ‘Ye Spotted Snakes’ which has words from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, but they also sang ‘Harm’s our delight’ and ‘In a deep vaulted cell’. We learnt actions for the opera choruses, but, best of all, we got to hear the astounding Jubilee Quartet play the songs we were to sing.

After we had rehearsed separately, we came together. Each group got to hear the other, and we also sang together. This worked especially well in ‘In a deep vaulted cell’ where each choir took turns to lead, and the other choir sang the echoes from the deep vaulted cell.

At the end of the workshop, we had a little presentation, where parents and friends came to see us perform our songs. A group of us from Senior Choir sang the recitative, ‘Wayward Sisters’, which introduces the sorceress and witches in the opera. We also had four pupils explain the history and story behind ‘Dido and Aeneas’. We learnt a lot about Henry Purcell and his music, and we can all say that we had a great time.

Imogen B

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