Opera House festival to entertain youth

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Oamaru schoolchildren don’t have an excuse to be bored these holidays, with an amazing line-up of performing arts workshops at the Oamaru Opera House next week.

The Oamaru Opera House, in conjunction with the North Otago Museum and the Forrester Gallery, will be holding its inaugural Kidsfest from Friday, July 11, to Friday, July 18.

The Kidsfest will include ukulele workshops and the chance to perform on stage with American singer Brit Rodriquez as well as theatre, story-telling and acrobatic workshops.

Opera house director Megan Peacock Coyle said the idea for the Kidsfest came about from the desire to make the opera house accessible to all ages.

“[We wanted] to make it accessible to our community and the youth because I think sometimes there’s a perception that there’s this grand opera house just for adults.

“It’s a space that [children] can inhabit as well.”

It would also be a good opportunity for children to get involved with performing arts in a more interactive way than watching movies during the school holidays, she said.

The main event of the week will be singer and ukulele player Brit Rodriquez, who will be taking several workshops to help children rehearse before they open her performance on the evening of Tuesday, July 15.

Children will also have the opportunity to create their own shadow theatre during a workshop with Phill Kranz, who has worked on theatre in Dunedin and London.

Storytelling duo Mary Kippenberger and Peter Charlton-Jones will entertain the children with a mix of fairtytales, pantomime and songs at the end of the week.

“Mary’s a wonderful storyteller…that’ll be a lot of fun,” Mrs Peacock Coyle said.

She hoped this year would be the start of an annual Kidsfest in Oamaru, she said.

Visit www.oamaruoperahouse.co.nz for more information and a timetable of the events.

Bookings are essential.

By RUBY HARFIELD