Beyond the Stage
What is Beyond the Stage?
Beyond the Stage is a range of dynamic and immersive education workshops and performances designed to ignite your students’ curiosity about the captivating world of opera and theatre.
Explore the process of commissioning a new work for the mainstage, explore the science of theatre technology with our light and sound workshops, or attend a pre-show Q & A and grill those in non-performing roles about their work in bringing a production to stage.
Beyond the Stage is our offering in the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series which is free to government schools. Non-government schools pay a low fee of $1 per student for workshops and $25 for shows.
In 2023, Beyond the Stage will focus on Victorian Opera’s commission, and First Nations work, The Visitors, as a foundation for the workshops as we discuss with the composer, librettist, creative team and performers, their work and process. This suite of workshops and the on-demand performance are available until 28 June 2024.
Check out our new workshops and topics for the 2024 school year below. Sign-up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on these new releases.
Behind The Scenes: Dive into the magical realm of opera with rarely granted access to key creative team members and find out how they come together to create brand new works of opera
Career Pathways: Providing opportunities for students to learn from world leading artists and creatives who are practicing their craft.
Creative Expression: Encourage artistic expression and collaboration as students actively participate in interactive workshops led by industry experts and experienced teaching staff, cultivating with their unique talents across music, literature, drama and history.
Cultural Enrichment: Discover the rich heritage of opera and theatre, exploring diverse narratives, characters, and musical genres that reflect the tapestry of our world.
Australian Stories: Our new commissions explore Australian stories with a focus on First Nations and non-European narratives.
A First Nations’ Perspective: Connect with First Nations culture through the production, The Visitors, as it looks at colonisation from the perspective of Australia’s First Peoples.
Writing Workshops: Unleash your students’ story-telling capabilities as they learn how to convert a story into lyrics for an opera (libretto).
Musical Insights: Delve into the magic of opera compositions, exploring melodies, harmonies, and emotions that breathe life into characters, and provide time and place for a story’s setting.
Theatrical Exploration: Dive into the world of stagecraft, from dramatic storytelling to the art of movement and gesture.
On Stage Design: Engage and educate your students in the craft of design, and how it is used to enhance the power of the performance and message.
Collaborative: Students can come together with like-minded students to share their ideas and outcomes.
Career Pathways: Engage your students in Q&A’s with key nonperforming roles that work together to bring a production to life.
How to attend
Online and On-Demand: Virtual workshops are presented as 4 easy to consume videos to be played in class at a time that suits you and run for around 30 minutes (add time for learning activities).
In Person: Come and see us or we can come to you. In person workshops run for a minimum of 45 minutes and go up to 1 hour 30 minutes.
Planned Activities: The videos will contain a prepared learning activity for students to work on around the four main areas of: words, music, direction and design.
In-Theatre: Students and teachers have the option to attend in theatre performances to enhance their learning experience and exposure to cultural practice.
Discussions: Engage in meaningful conversations about the themes and messages embedded within opera, nurturing critical thinking skills.
“I have gained a lot of insight into the world of opera and theatre making throughout watching the workshops for The Visitors. It has been great, and it easily got everyone to think about their own experiences and bring them all together to create our own libretto. Overall, I feel the step-by-step instruction and advice from professionals were super helpful for all interested in theatre making, not just when it comes to opera.”
Fyonn, Year 10
“I love getting to know more about the show we watch, and also having the director and the writer give tips about creating an opera.”
Jaylah, Year 7
“The education workshops have been a great help in the lead up to seeing The Visitors, and they’ve given me a greater appreciation for devising my own works.”
Ruby, Year 11
What's on offer in 2024
In Semester 1 2024 we offer:
- The Visitors– explore the commissioning of a new First Nations work with workshops on how to choose the story to tell, writing melodies, orchestration, and staging. Key to these workshops are interviews with Jane Harrison (librettist) Christopher Sainsbury (composer), Isaac Drandic (director) and the cast of The Visitors. Offered virtually, however face to face workshops can be organised. Suitable for Years 7 – 12
- Sound & Light Energy in Action– explore the physics of sound and light energy and apply this knowledge to real life theatre technology and situations. Consider this a whole day of Science Prac! Offered in person at Horti Hall Melbourne or as a school incursion. Suitable for Years 7 – 9
- Candide: Explore the nonperforming roles– Join us for a pre-show Q & A with our Conductor, Director and Designer to explore their roles in bringing a production to stage. Then sit back and enjoy one of Bernstein’s great pieces of theatre. Offered in person at Palais Theatre. Suitable for Years 9 – 10
- Parrwang Lifts the Sky: Explore the nonperforming roles– Explore how Deborah Cheetham Fraillon wrote the libretto and music for this Wadawurrung Creation story and the role of our director in this preshow workshop. Then sit back and enjoy the magic of the first Australian dawn. Offered virtually, however face to face workshops can be organised. Show is in-theatre at Malthouse Theatre Melbourne & Ballarat Civic Hall. Suitable for Years 7 – 8
In Semester 2 we offer:
- La Rondine: Explore the nonperforming roles– Join us for a pre-show Q & A with our Conductor, Director and Designer to explore their roles in bringing a production to stage. Then sit back and enjoy one of Puccini’s great pieces of theatre. Offered in person at Palais Theatre. Suitable for Years 10 – 12
- Sound & Light Energy in Action (TBC)– explore the physics of sound and light energy and apply this knowledge to real life theatre technology and situations. Consider this a whole day of Science Prac! Offered in person at Horti Hall Melbourne or as a school incursion. Suitable for Years 7 – 9
- Eucalyptus– explore the commissioning of a new Australian work with workshops on how to choose the story to tell, writing melodies, orchestration, and staging. Key to these workshops are interviews Jonathan Mills (composer), Michael Gow (director), Simone Romaniuk (Designer) and the cast of Eucalyptus. Workshops offered virtually, however face to face workshops can be organised. Show is in-theatre at Palais Theatre. Suitable for Years 7 – 12
Cost to attend
Free: The workshops and on-demand performance are all free for State Schools.
Non-government schools can also access the program for a small cost. Contact our Education Team to find out more.
In-theatre Attendance: A limited number of free tickets are on offer for students and teachers to attend performances in our 2024 Season.
For further enquiries, contact:
(03) 9012 6659 or email