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The Greek National Opera's education programme, “Interactive Opera for Primary Schools” began in May 2012 and completed successfully in June 2013 with the participation of 70 primary schools in different parts of Greece. The programme is being conducted within the framework of the “Education and Lifelong Learning” scheme and is co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and the Greek state (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013).
After the completion of the first and the second tour whereas 122 schools participated in total, the educational programme continues furthermore to 25 primary schools throughout Greece, in the coming period until Οctober 2015.
Pupils at the schools participating in the programme are given the opportunity to learn about the world of opera from an insider's perspective by taking part in all the different steps of producing an opera, in this case Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville. The first part of the programme begins before the arrival of the Greek National Opera's education team with students constructing some of the props that are needed for the production with the help of their teachers.
Once the GNO team arrives, Day 1 is dedicated to workshops in which they play theatrical games and learn to express themselves through music and movement, as well as the visual arts, with the aim making a first acquaintance with the musical theatre, and with opera more specifically. The GNO Educational Orchestra also takes part in the workshops, allowing the children to meet the conductor and the soloists, as well as dancers. The day ends with a rehearsal for the opera's finale that includes the participation of the school's choir.
On Day 2 the workshops continue with the kids learning about the work done behind the scenes by the lighting technicians, the wardrobe assistants, the make-up artists, and the assistant director. The day ends with the performance, in which the children sing along with the choir, to an audience made up of their parents, teachers and peers.