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An encouraging new take on Carmen

doran.jpgHow heartwarming to hear of an arts education project working not with the usual target child, teenage or ‘community’ participants, but with a group which really does usually get excluded, overlooked and forgotten: women travellers.

Royal Albert Hall Learning and Participation has got together with Purcell School to make it happen. The aim is to create a for-now version of Carmen, because the similar Tosca project went so well last year.

The Traveller Women’s group from Ealing is working with playwright Darren Rapier and poet, Ian McMillan in a series of writing workshops. Today for example Ian McMillan ran a ‘Masterclass’ with the Traveller women. Meanwhile Purcell School students are busy are creating five new pieces of music.

The new work, Carmen Revised, gets a rehearsed reading by a cast of TV and stage actors on Monday 2 March 2009 at the Royal Albert Hall, accompanied by the Purcell School music performed by the Hall’s newly created Learning and Participation resident ensemble, Albert’s Band.

Bizet isn’t completely eclipsed in all this either. All the writers and young composers are invited to see a production of the original Carmen when it is staged at Royal Albert Hall next month.

If anyone knows of any other education projects aimed at vulnerable groups which don’t usually get much done for them do let me know.

Image shows Kay Doran rehearsing Carmen Revised.

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