Primary Schools


Access All Areas: Livestream Program takes your students behind the scenes of Parrwang Lifts the Sky without leaving the classroom.


Join the team at Victorian Opera as they prepare for the schools' performances of Parrwang Lifts the Sky.

Over a series of four interactive workshops, students will meet the singers, composer and director, explore the unique artistic characteristics of opera, and discover what happens inside the rehearsal room to bring the opera to life on stage.

The program concludes with a performance of Parrwang Lifts the Sky, composed by Yorta Yorta soprano and composer, Deborah Cheetham AO. This new opera tells the creation story of the sunrise from the oral history of the Wadawurrung people.

Ideal for Primary School students in Years Foundation to 6.

Aligns with Australian Curriculum General Capabilities and Learning Areas in:

  • The Arts: Music, Drama and Visual Arts  
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • English

Supported by a downloadable classroom resource and activities tailored to each workshop (available mid-April 2021).

Workshop information

Presented by opera singer, composer and music educator Angus Grant, all four workshops will be livestreamed directly into your classroom on the dates listed below. Workshops will also be available on-demand to accommodate school timetables.

Each workshop will run for approximately 45 minutes and will include a variety of interactive activities.

Workshop content is subject to change.

Workshop 1: What is opera?
Wednesday 19 May 2021, 10:30am

Join members of the cast as they demonstrate the various voice types and singing styles unique to opera, and learn the secret of how opera singers sing so loudly.  

Workshop 2: Exploring Wadawurrung culture
Wednesday 26 May 2021, 10:30am

Connect with Wadawurrung culture and discover the ancient story of the first sunrise.

Workshop 3: Direction and design
Wednesday 2 June 2021, 10:30am

Meet the Director and discover how the story comes to life in the rehearsal room. Explore the designs that will form the set and costumes of the work.

Workshop 4: Moving into the theatre
Monday 7 June 2021, 10:30am

Discover what happens backstage at the theatre as the production team moves in ahead of the opening performance. Meet the conductor and learn about the different instruments that make up the orchestra.

Performance: Parrwang Lifts the Sky
Thursday 10 June 2021, 10:30am and 1:00pm
Friday 11 June 2021, 10:30am and 1:00pm (Relaxed performance)

Did you know that magpies created the first dawn?*

A long time ago….

The sky was a blanket on the land. The earth was in darkness and the people were afraid. It was a very sad state of affairs and would have stayed that way except for the courage of Parrwang the Magpie.

Tjatjarrang (Big Sister) and Koki (Brother) are young, adventurous and tired of living in the dark. When they manage to climb to the highest branches of an ancient gum tree, they discover an exciting new world and a steadfast friend in Parrwang, who decides to help the young humans lift the blanket of darkness from the ground.

A plan is devised, but can Parrwang convince the Great Council of Birds to agree?

*Based on an original story from Wadawurrung Country told to the children of the Wadawurrung by community Elder, the late Uncle David Tournier.

Please note: Parts of this production will be sung in language with English scene descriptors. 

How much does the program cost?

The cost of the program differs depending on the location of your school.

For schools located within 75km from Arts Centre Melbourne, tickets are $16 per student with a complimentary teacher ticket available for every 10 students booked. Schools attend the performance at the theatre and receive all four workshops free of charge.

For schools located outside 75km from Arts Centre Melbourne, tickets are $1 per student, with no additional charge for teachers. Schools watch a livestreamed version of the performance from their classroom and receive all four workshops free of charge.

How do I book?

Access All Areas: Livestream Program will go on sale in late November 2020.

Register your school’s interest below to receive a reminder email when bookings go on sale. 

For any further information about our Primary School Programs please email Eduation Manager Ioanna Salmanidis at or call (03) 9012 6659.