Children prepare for Opera Australia

STUDENTS from four schools in Bendigo are in the final stages of rehearsals for their role in Opera Australia's The Magic Flute, to be performed at The Capital theatre on July 22. 

The production is an Indiana Jones-inspired take on Mozart's classic and will feature 12 principal artists of the company, a live orchestra and for the first time, a local children's chorus.

Children aged eight to 14 from Spring Gully Primary School, Kangaroo Flat Primary School, Bendigo South East Secondary College and Girton Grammar School have been practising under choir teacher Jennifer Schatzle for more than ten weeks.

Ms Schatzle said the children were specially selected by choir teachers in their schools to audition. 

"They’re all really keen. Part of the auditioning process was seeing how good their part-singing was. They’ve had to work hard," Ms Schatzle said.

"Performing alongside wonderful singers from Opera Australia will be pretty amazing for them."

She said the group of 24 students would play the role of spirits advising the main characters on their quest to find true love.

"The children are essential to the plot of the opera because they hand over some magical objects and give advice for how best to proceed on the quest."

The students won't rehearse on stage with the Opera Australia cast until the day of the performance. 

Neither the students nor Ms Schatzle have seen the full production yet so they are yet to discover exactly how the show will come together.  

"They (the students) have watched clips and things on Youtube but of course nobody else has done it Indiana Jones style, so it will be quite new and fresh for them."

The students' costumes will arrive on the day of the performance - another aspect giving an element of mystery to the show. 

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