#lionopera is an ambitious new cycle of children’s operas conceived by composer James Olsen (‘brilliantly imaginative’—The Guardian), and a set of accompanying teaching resources for Key Stages 2 and 3 published by Olsen Verlag.

Far from being ‘mere’ educational works, the operas are high-quality and entertaining works in their own right. Freely based on the medieval legend of the lion and the donkey living in Saint Jerome’s monastery, they are stimulating and enjoyable for young people to perform, without requiring specialist musical training.

A key aim of #lionopera is to enhance schools’ delivery of Key Stages 2 and 3 of the national curriculum, especially English, science and music. We are partnering with the Born Free Foundation, The Donkey Sanctuary and LionAid to produce teaching resources about lions and donkeys which will tie in with the Key Stage 2 science curriculum, so pupils can learn more about these wonderful animals who play a central role in the operas but who face such terrible threats today. We are also working with Birmingham Repertory Theatre to produce short online videos to give pupils and their schools some tips with acting and directing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has sadly prevented this project from continuing, but we aim to relaunch it as soon as possible once restrictions are lifted.

Watch the first five minutes of the first #lionopera here: