Family Art Fun October half-term 2017

November 13, 2017

Family Art Fun October half-term

Saturday 21 – Sunday 29 October 2017

To celebrate Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, during October half- term, families at the V&A were presented with activities devised and inspired by our resident theatre company Metta Theatre (Artistic Directors Poppy Burton-Morgan and William Reynolds). Three times a day, a newly commissioned contemporary solo opera, based on the Marriage of Figaro’s Susanna was performed by Danae Eleni with music by Oliver Brignall and Rachel Williams on piano.

Pop-up Performance with Metta Theatre, Susannah from Roles, October half-term. Image © Bob Workman

Susannah from ‘Roles’ a new opera from Librettist Poppy Burton-Morgan and Composer Oliver Brignall; was was followed by a singing workshop and then an aria from Act 4 by Mozart. Susanna worn a newly commissioned paper dress on wheels designed by Ryan Dawson Laight. BSL interpretation took place on Thursday 26th.

On the Imagination Station, families could take to a stage created by William Reynolds with props and costumes to create an experimental opera set. Using music paper to create their own designs, they could also dress up in historical costume.

The Imagination Station with Metta Theatre, October Half-term. Image © V&A
Paper creations and dressing up on the Imagination Station. Image © V&A

Bookable events included Make-it: Visual Score with Oliver Brignall and Make-it: Costume Design with Ryan Dawson Laight. The visual scores can be viewed on utube (workshop dates 23 – 25 October) and an example can be found here. Each unique work was inspired by the Museum collection.

In Make-it: Costume Design, Ryan inspired participants to think creatively by getting them to do speed drawings and demonstrating material manipulation. They then had an intense 45 minutes to create their own pieces.

Speed drawing in Make-it: Costume Design with Ryan Dawson Laight. Image © V&A
Final creations in Make-it: Costume Design with Ryan Dawson Laight. Image © V&A

There was also a performative workshop led by Chickenshed Theatre, Kensington and Chelsea and performer Diana Olutunmogun to consult with families on a new performance about Handel which was performed for the first time on 11 November as part of the Museum’s Opera Weekender.

Chickenshed Theatre, Kensington and Chelsea Workshop with Diana Olutunmogun. Image © V&A

10555 people took part in Opera events over October half-term, a 20% increase on audience numbers last year.

“My daughter loved the opera performance and the paper craft. Thank you!”

“It was the first time my son has heard opera – so that was excellent as I wouldn’t take him to a whole performance. I thought it was good there were two performances with interactive activity between so they didn’t get bored.”

“The workshop in the Raphael room was excellent. My children (8, 7 and 5) had the best time making exciting items with the musical sheets. Please keep on doing this sort of thing. Thanks.”

Some quotes from families after attending events in the Raphael gallery during October half-term.

“[We discovered today]…how art can represent/symbolise music and tell a story.”

“[We discovered today]… how fun music is and how it is linked to art.”

Comments from families after the Make-it: Visual Score workshop.

“I loved learning about Handel and the instruments he played. I also enjoyed dressing up. I simply loved it.”

“Have sent my daughter to drama classes before but never joined in and she liked doing it together.”

Child and parent participants after Chickenshed workshop consulting with families about the new pop-up Performance about Handel.

Find out more about Metta Theatre here.

About the author

November 13, 2017

Harriet Curnow joined the V&A in 2011 after a ten-year career at Tate where she held a variety of roles including the Acting Head of Young People’s Programmes and curatorial...

More from Harriet Curnow
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