Scottish Opera's Primary Schools Tour Returns With Warriors! The Emperor's Incredible Army
16th December 2019
Mon 16 March 2010, Newton Park Primary School, Wick.
In Spring and Summer 2020, thousands of primary school children across Scotland will perform Warriors! The Emperor's Incredible Army as part of the Scottish Opera Primary Schools Tour. Pupils in primary 5, 6 and 7 will rehearse and perform this opera, which recounts the tale of the terracotta warriors of Xian.
It begins on Monday 13 January at Milngavie Primary School, and will visit over 50 schools around Scotland during the Spring term, including in Glasgow, Edinburgh, East and West Dunbartonshire, Clackmannanshire, North and South Lanarkshire, Angus, Aberdeen, Fife, Moray, Falkirk, East Lothian, the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway. (Full list of participating schools below.)
The tour continues in the Summer term on Monday 20 April, visiting schools in Aberdeenshire, the Borders, East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh, East Renfrewshire, Angus, South Lanarkshire, Fife, Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire, Glasgow, Moray, Dumfries and Galloway and Shetland.
Warriors! tells the true story of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, who was determined to cheat death and rule over his country forever. Over many years, Qin Shi Huang assembled an army of 8000 soldiers, horses and chariots to watch over him in the afterlife. The warriors were all armed to the teeth, but made entirely of clay.
Composed by Alan Penman with lyrics by Ross Stenhouse, pupils learn the opera's words and songs in their own classrooms and are then helped by the Scottish Opera team to prepare for a performance in front of pupils, friends and family. It allows them to learn in an exciting, creative and challenging way, further developing their music education. Performing in front of an audience instils a confidence that will continue to help pupils in the future, whatever path they follow. Teachers from schools which have already taken part agreed that the Primary Schools Tour broadened the children's cultural experiences, improved team work skills, increased cultural confidence as well as singing ability, and supported the aims of Curriculum for Excellence.
Between January and November 2019, 132 Scottish schools took part in in the Primary Schools Tour, which was established by Scottish Opera 48 years ago. Teachers are provided with high quality teaching resources, including a support pack to help introduce the music and related activities, an advance visit from a specialist choral musician, and a day-long workshop with a team of experience arts educations specialists and performers.
Warriors! was originally commissioned in 2015 in partnership with the five Scottish Confucius Institutes based in the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt and Aberdeen. In 2016, around 200 pupils from the Fangcaodi International School, Beijing learnt the songs and performed the opera, which is mainly sung in English with some words in Mandarin. The ‘pilot' visit was deemed such a success by the teachers that Scottish Opera was invited to return and work with a cast of pupils nearly four times larger.
In October 2019, three singers from Scottish Opera returned to China, and with around 200 pupils from the Kunming Fangcaodi International School learned and performed our second opera based on Chinese history, The Dragon of the Western Seas, which tells the story of Kunming's most famous citizen, Admiral Zheng He.
Scottish Opera's Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson said: ‘Our annual Primary Schools Tour is one of the longest established programmes at Scottish Opera - every year over 9,000 children across Scotland take part in these performances with many more thousands of friends and families coming to see them in action.
‘We continue our work with the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools (CISS), bringing back Warriors! The Emperor's Incredible Army, which tells an important story from China's history. Pupils get to exercise their creative muscles and experience the added confidence and excitement that comes from performing for an audience of their peers, family and friends.'
In 2018 Scottish Opera was granted Confucius Classroom Hub status by Hanban, the headquarters of Confucius Institutes worldwide, making it the first opera company in the world to be selected for this accolade. It is one of four hubs based outwith a school setting; the others are the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Scottish Schools Football Association and the Royal Zoological Society at Edinburgh Zoo. The ‘classroom’ at the Company’s Edington Street production studios, holds resources on Chinese performance, arts and culture. It is used as a rehearsal space for Chinese-related programmes.
Confucius Classrooms are hubs usually based in schools and serving the local community. The concept promotes joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.
Warriors! The Emperor’s Incredible Army is supported by The Mickel Fund, The Cruden Foundation, The Stevenston Charitable Trust, Martin Connell Charitable Trust, David & June Gordon Memorial Trust, Harbinson Charitable Trust, The R J Larg Family Trust, Alma & Leslie Wolfson Charitable Trust and Scottish Opera’s Education Angels.
More details about Warriors! are available from www.scottishopera.org.uk/join-in/opera-for-schools/
You can follow Scottish Opera on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ScottishOpera
Performance diary Spring 2020
Mon 13 Jan, Milngavie Primary School
Tues 14 Jan, Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Edinburgh
Wed 15 Jan, St Mark’s RC Primary School, Edinburgh
Thu 16 Jan, Leith Primary School
Fri 17 Jan, Orchard Primary School, Wishaw
Mon 20 Jan, Mosshead Primary School, Bearsden
Tues 21 Jan, Baljaffray Primary School, Bearsden
Wed 22 Jan, Queensferry Primary School, Edinburgh
Thu 23 Jan, Trinity Primary School, Edinburgh
Fri 24 Jan, Sunnyside Primary School, Alloa
Mon 27 Jan, Anstruther Primary School
Tue 28 Jan, Castlehill Primary School, Fife
Wed 29 Jan, Lochgelly Primary School
Thu 30 Jan, Dalgety Bay Primary School
Fri 31 Jan, Goldenhill Primary School, Clydebank
Mon 3 Feb, St Ronan’s Primary School, Alexandria
Tue 4 Feb, West Coats Primary School, Cambuslang
Wed 5 Feb, Bruntsfield Primary School, Edinburgh
Thu 6 Feb, Prestonfield Primary School, Edinburgh
Fri 7 Feb, Northmuir Primary School, Kirriemuir
Mon 10 Feb, International School of Aberdeen
Tue 11 Feb, Middleton Primary School, Aberdeen
Wed 12 Feb, Seaton School, Aberdeen
Thu 13 Feb, Airyhall School, Aberdeen
Fri 14 Feb, Airyhall School, Aberdeen
Mon 17 Feb, Wormit School, Fife
Tue 18 Feb, Tayport Primary School, Fife
Wed 19 Feb, Jordanhill School, Glasgow
Thu 20 Feb, Jordanhill School, Glasgow
Fri 21 Feb, Robert Smillie Memorial Primary School, Larkhall
Mon 24 Feb, Cluny Primary School, Buckie
Tue 25 Feb, Keith Primary School
Wed 26 Feb, Mosstowie Primary School, Elgin
Thu 27 Feb, Hopeman Primary School, Moray
Fri 28 Feb, Rothes Primary School
Mon 2 Mar, Dalry Primary School, Edinburgh
Tue 3 Mar, Corstorphine Primary School, Edinburgh
Wed 4 Mar, Blackhall Primary School, Edinburgh
Thu 5 Mar, Comely Park Primary School, Falkirk
Fri 6 Mar, Bankhead Primary School, Rutherglen
Mon 9 Mar, South Morningside Primary School, Edinburgh
Tue 10 Mar, Dean Park Primary School, Edinburgh
Wed 11 Mar, The Compass School, Haddington
Thu 12 Mar, Langlees Primary School, Falkirk
Fri 13 Mar, Wallacestone Primary School, Falkirk
Mon 16 Mar, Newton Park Primary School, Wick
Tue 17 Mar, Lochardil Primary School, Inverness
Wed 18 Mar, Bishop Eden’s Primary School, Inverness
Thu 19 Mar, Aviemore Primary School
Fri 20 Mar, Culter Primary School, Aberdeen
Mon 23 Mar, Noblehill School, Dumfries
Tue 24 Mar, Heathhall School, Dumfries
Wed 25 Mar, Georgetown Primary School, Dumfries
Thu 26 Mar, Calside Primary School, Dumfries
Fri 27 Mar, Cargenbridge Primary School, Dumfries
Performance diary Summer 2020
Mon 20 Apr, Drumoak Primary School, Aberdeenshire
Tue 21 Apr, Westhill Primary School, Aberdeenshire
Wed 22 Apr, Fyvie Primary School, Aberdeenshire
Thu 23 Apr, Turiff Primary School, Aberdeenshire
Fri 24 Apr, Fraserburgh South Park Primary School, Aberdeenshire
Mon 27 Apr, St Margaret’s RC Primary School, Galashiels
Tue 28 Apr, Tweedbank Primary School, Galashiels
Wed 29 Apr, Holy Family Primary School, Kirkintilloch
Thu 30 Apr, Hermitage Park Primary School, Edinburgh
Fri 1 May, Loretto Junior School, Musselburgh
Mon 4 May, Mearns Primary School, Newton Mearns
Tue 5 May, Inverbrothock Primary School, Arbroath
Wed 6 May, Sciennes Primary School, Edinburgh
Mon 11 May, Fernhill Primary School, Rutherglen
Tue 12 May, Benarty Primary School, Lochgelly
Wed 13 May, Kettle Primary School, Fife
Thu 14 May, Dunnikier Primary School, Kirkcaldy
Fri 15 May, St Paul’s Primary School, Glenrothes
Mon 18 May, Eaglesham Primary School, East Renfrewshire
Tue 19 May, Strachur Primary School, Argyll and Bute
Wed 20 May, Arinagour Primary School, Argyll and Bute
Thu 21 May, Dunbeg Primary School, Argyll and Bute
Mon 25 May, Lilliesleaf Primary School, Melrose
Wed 27 May, Towerbank Primary School, Edinburgh
Thu 28 May, Winton Primary School, Ardrossan
Fri 29 May, St Mary’s Primary, Largs
Mon 1 - Fri 5 Jun, Shetland
Mon 8 Jun, The High School of Glasgow
Tue 9 Jun, Forthview Primary School, Edinburgh
Wed 10 Jun, Kirkcaldy West Primary School, Fife
Thu 11 Jun, St Margaret’s Primary School, Dunfermline
Fri 12 Jun, Bridge of Weir Primary School, Renfrewshire
Mon 15 Jun, Flora Stevenson Primary School, Edinburgh
Tue 16 Jun, Kirktonholme Primary School, East Kilbride
Wed 17 Jun, Broomhill School, Aberdeen
Thu 18 Jun, Milne’s ASG Group, Lhandbryde, Moray
Fri 19 Jun, Kinloss Primary School, Moray
Warriors! The Emperor's Incredible Army
All hail Qin Shi Huang - the first Emperor of China, destined to rule his Empire forever. After all, didn’t he drink the Elixir of Life, a potion that promises immortality? Not such a great promise when that elixir turns out to be a deadly poison. Now the afterlife awaits, but even a dead Emperor needs an army. So, over many years, he’s gathered a vast hoard to watch over him after death - 8,000 soldiers, horses and chariots, all armoured and armed to the teeth. And every one of them moulded from clay...