East End kids get Summertime coaching from Cape Town Opera

Members of Cape Town Opera who are currently staging their own version of Porgy and Bess on the London stage have been teaching kids at an East End school how to sing Summer Time.

They turned up at Whitechapel’s Thomas Buxton Primary on Monday to run workshops coaching youngsters aged 10 and 11—and infected staff as well as pupils with their singing.

Stephanie Palmer, assistant head of teaching and learning, said: “Their passion, joy and love of music was inspirational and filled the school hall, leaving a lasting impression on our Year-6 children.

“The voice workshops were dynamic and energising and gave the children a wealth of vocal exercises and a deeper understanding of how to use the voice correctly.”

Cape Town Opera, whose production has opened at the London Coliseum, has ‘relocated’ Gershwin’s classic story about the search for happiness amid deprivation of America’s Deep South to South Africa’s Soweto township.

The workshops were to mark Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday today (Weds), celebrating his 67 years campaigning for human rights including three decades languishing in a South African jail during Apartheid.