The pupils got the chance to sneak a peek behind the scenes during an exclusive backstage tour and meet with Opera North musicians and choristers to learn all about theatre life, before taking to the floor to perform. After wowing the opera-goers with their winning rendition of Bernstein's 'Tonight' they then took their seats to watch the professionals in action in Rigoletto. And their prize doesn't stop there - they will be able to fine-tune their musical talents with a package of musical instruments or sound equipment worth £1,000.
David Wilson, Partner at Yorkshire Bank's Financial Solutions Centre in Newcastle, said: "The audience were clearly impressed by the Sacred Heart Catholic High School pupils, as were we. The youngsters seemed to thoroughly enjoy the night and with their new equipment we hope our competition has inspired the choir with confidence to further develop their musical talent."
The exciting competition was part of Yorkshire Bank's sponsorship of Rigoletto and Opera North's education programme, Opera1. It is part of the Bank's commitment to support the development of the arts and to make a difference in the communities in which it operates.
Sacred Heart Catholic High School's Music Teacher, Nikki Holmes, who entered the choir into the competition, said: "I'm really proud that the pupils gave such a fantastic performance on the night which reflected all the hard work and practise they put in beforehand. Yorkshire Bank's competition has been a great chance for the children to demonstrate their growing musical talents. They loved having the chance to take a look behind the scenes, as well as perform to a fantastic audience, and I hope the experience will translate to enthusiasm in the classroom and a greater appreciation of musical theatre and opera."