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  I performed in an opera in a museum
Updated 14 August 2004, 10.04
The cast of Blaze
The production Blaze had an unusual venue for its performances - the Darlington Railway Museum.

It was staged by The Tees Valley Opera Project and Creative Partnerships Tees Valley, working with Northern Stage - the North East's largest-producing theatre company.

Laura had one of the leading parts and in her report she tells us why she got involved in this project.

"The opera Blaze is a story all about the railways from the early times to the present day.

It involves the history of the railway, including George Stephenson's Locomotion and its bell.

When I first got told about Blaze, I was in my music classroom.

Out of the ordinary

When I heard the word opera it didn't sound exciting, the first thing that sprang to mind was people with horns on their heads singing really high notes.

On set at the Darlington Railway Museum
On set at the Darlington Railway Museum
Like most kids my age, somehow I don't think opera really appeals to them, it's certainly not my favourite music.

Then it was explained a bit more and I realised that this was no ordinary opera.

This was something very, very different.

When they said we were performing at a museum I thought it was a bit strange, I am used to being on a school stage, indoors.

However it made it much more fun and interesting and it was outdoors, luckily it didn't rain!

Singing solo

Using the trains as part of the set and because the story was based around an historical object at the museum made everything more fun to look at and easier to understand.

I got the part of Mel, one of the main characters in the performance.

I won the part of Mel by auditioning to sing solo.

My music teacher thought I would be good at the part, so I said yes.

Remembering lines

It was all very different for me and it took a while to grasp the fact that I would be performing it in front of over 200 people each night.

There is a pressure of whether you will remember your lines or get a note wrong.

But after all the hard work it went really, really well on the opening night.

If I could, I would definitely do it all over again."

Laura, 13, Darlington


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