Community Opera shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award

Posted: 15th October 2020

Cheltenham Festivals community opera ‘Across The Sky’ has been shortlisted for a prestigious classical music award. The Royal Philharmonic Society Awards celebrate the treasured role that classical music plays in our lives. Cheltenham Festivals ‘Across The Sky’ community opera saw All Saints’ Academy heavily involved in the creation and performing of the opera. We are thrilled that the project has been nominated for an Impact Award.

Talented students from Year 7 – 13 from All Saints’ Academy took part in the 10-month long Cheltenham Festivals project which saw the local community work together to create and perform an original opera. Local primary schools; Hester’s Way and St Thomas More Primary, a local community choir; Local Vocals Community Choir, professional opera singers and Gloucestershire Youth Chamber Orchestra were all also involved in the exciting project set up by Cheltenham Festivals.

English, Music and Drama students at All Saints’ began working on writing lyrics for the libretto with librettist Miranda Walker in October 2018. Performing Arts students then continued to work with Cheltenham Festivals and composer/musical director Michael Betteridge to create melodies and rhythms for sections of the opera. Director Bryn Holding visited to run workshops with our students to help them gain confidence and direct them with their stage movements. Cheltenham Festivals Project Manager Pip Claridge and Project Co-ordinator Shirley Halse made regular visits to the Academy in the lead up to the exciting project, making sure to speak to our young people on what they had learnt during the project.

Students had the opportunity to learn new skills and work with students from different year groups to create unique pieces of music and lyrics. The community opera was commissioned by Cheltenham Festivals to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Cheltenham Music Festival and concluded the Festival on Sunday 14th July 2019 with two sell out performances in the Cheltenham Town Hall.

We are incredibly excited that this project has been recognised by the Royal Philharmonic Society and look forward to watching the 2020 RPS Awards digital broadcast at 7.00pm on Wednesday 18 November via

Filmed at London’s Wigmore Hall and presented by BBC Radio 3’s Georgia Mann, it will feature performances by several nominees. Longstanding RPS Awards partner BBC Radio 3 will then present a musical celebration of the RPS Awards winners at 7.30pm on Monday 23 November.


You can see more about the project here:

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