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Schools and families encouraged to get children involved in opera production ‘Fever!’

Primary Schools Tour Fever! by Scottish Opera, 2016. (Sally Jubb)

Scottish Opera have created a series of online teaching resources for schools and families to allow everyone get involved in their primary school production, Fever!

Created especially for children in primaries 5, 6 and 7, the show was first performed by Scottish Opera in 2011 and has become a staple of many Scottish schools’ calendars. This is the very first time an online version of the tour has been made available, bringing the funny and fast-moving story to living rooms up and down the country, culminating in a nationwide virtual performance at the end of June.

Fever! follows a young boy who becomes ill with a mysterious disease, the doctors who are trying to cure him and the press who are after a big scoop – at the possibility of a worldwide pandemic. As the doctors try to calm the situation, a possible cure is discovered and injected into the boy, and that’s when the story really takes off.

Until June 15, audio teaching tracks and videos, lyrics, and activity materials, will be posted on the Scottish Opera website, covering topics including creative writing, science experiments and tips on how to make props and costumes from home. The resources can be used by teachers as part of their weekly activities with classes, or by parents for their children at home, not as part of the school curriculum.

Fever! takes pupils on a journey, learning the benefits that biomedical science offers humanity, looking at the basic mechanics of the human body, infections and viruses, and exploring the impact of press and media on today’s society, including fake news. It is designed to help teachers deliver core elements of the Curriculum of Excellence such as social studies, history, technologies, literacy and citizenship.

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson said: “For people of all ages who think opera plot lines can’t be relevant to the present day, there isn’t a more powerful example of the benefits using music and the other expressive arts to support cross curricular education, than Scottish Opera’s Primary Schools opera; Fever!

“In the context of the current pandemic, and updated and adapted for online participation, the subject matter is perfectly balanced between a fantastical and accessible musical story that youngsters (whether at home or still at school) can enjoy interacting with, underpinned by an age appropriate message explaining the principles of microbiology and virology.

“Added to which, is the opportunity to help our children and young people explore the increasingly worrying phenomenon known as ‘fake news’. Equipping them with the skills to recognise and challenge fake news is widely acknowledged as a key coping mechanism for life in the 21st century, and it’s all wrapped up in one funny and fact filled opera experience.”

To access Fever! resources, visit: www.scottishopera.org.uk/fever

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