Kids explore world of opera in memory of Leeds teacher Ann Maguire

Ann Maguire.
Ann Maguire.
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Schoolchildren will get the chance to find out about the world of opera thanks to the fund set up in memory of much-missed Leeds teacher Ann Maguire.

Leeds-based Opera North has been awarded £10,000 by the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund to run a scheme called Young Explorers, it was announced today.

The project will see pupils from local schools learning about singing, acting and costume design in creative workshops.

They will also be able to put on their own performances at the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds in January and attend a professional production of Italian opera L’elisir d’amore.

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Mrs Maguire’s daughter, Kerry, said: “The arts can provide a whole new world of inspiration for young people.

“We are delighted to have been able to support Opera North to deliver skills training and share their enthusiasm with local schoolchildren who would not normally be able to attend an opera and gain insight into the inner workings of an arts organisation.”

Opera North education director Jacqui Cameron said: “We’re delighted to receive funding from the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund as it supports our mission to encourage people to explore the art form of opera and the work of Opera North.

“The wonderful thing about this grant is that it allows us to run a series of workshops in schools which will provide young people with the opportunity to explore the themes, stagecraft and music of opera before coming to see a live performance for the first time.”

Mrs Maguire, 61, from Moortown, was fatally stabbed by pupil Will Cornick as she taught a lesson at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Halton Moor in 2014.

Managed by the Leeds Community Foundation charity, the fund bearing her name was established by the Maguire family to help young people fulfil their potential in areas such as drama and singing.

The deadline for applications for the scheme’s latest funding round is this Friday, October 23. Visit the www.leedscf.org.uk website for more details.

Individual bursaries of up to £500 and community group grants of up to £1,500 are on offer.

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