Secondary Schools

Inspire your students with the transformative power of storytelling through song and theatre.


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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. This new opera tells the creation story of the sunrise from the oral history of the Wadawurrung people.

Ideal for Secondary School students in Years 7 to 9.

Aligns with Australian Curriculum General Capabilities and Learning Areas in:

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

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

Select from one of the options below to discover more.


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: This production is sung in English and Wadawurrung 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 of 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 of 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.

Select from one of the options below to discover more.

For any further information, please contact Education Manager Ioanna Salmanidis on (03) 9012 6659 or

Work Experience


Complete your work experience with Victorian Opera and get hands-on experience with the elements behind opera production.

We welcome students who have a genuine curiosity about any aspect of the performing arts industry, in particular opera and musical theatre. Students who are accepted for work experience will be exposed to the different departments that make up Victorian Opera, not just performance elements.

More information about our 2021 Program will become available in January 2021.

Victorian Opera acknowledges the support of the Department of Education and Training, Victoria, through the Strategic Partnerships Program.