Opera based on Newham refugee gets award

Full Circle at the Festival of Youth. Picture: Libia Crisafulli.

Full Circle at the Festival of Youth. Picture: Libia Crisafulli. - Credit: Libia Crisafull

Newham Community Opera’s show Full Circle has won a national teaching award.

Full Circle at the Festival of Youth. Picture: Libia Crisafulli.

Full Circle at the Festival of Youth. Picture: Libia Crisafulli. - Credit: Libia Crisafulli

The performance is based on the life of Jonathan Lofulo, a former child refugee and now Newham resident.

He spent time in prison before earning a first in education from the University of East London.

The opera is the result of long term collaboration between Newham Music and Lister Community School.

On receiving the award, chief executive of Newham Music John Bergin said: “We are delighted that Newham’s Community Opera has been recognised by this prestigious award.

Full Circle at the Festival of Youth. Picture: Libia Crisafulli.

Full Circle at the Festival of Youth. Picture: Libia Crisafulli. - Credit: Libia Crisafulli


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“The dedicated effort of so many has produced an inspirational and unique opera for the whole community.

“Full Circle has connected hundreds of people from different backgrounds across Newham through an authentic new musical work, and will continue to do so into the future.”

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The aim of the partnership was to use the diversity of the area to tell a story that resonates with people from as many ages and backgrounds as possible

More than 300 children and young people from ten Newham schools, with community members, helped devise, compose and perform Full Circle.

Full Circle at the Festival of Youth. Picture: Libia Crisafulli.

Full Circle at the Festival of Youth. Picture: Libia Crisafulli. - Credit: Libia Crisafull

First shown at Lister, the opera has been performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Tower of London.

It is going to be shown at the Southbank Centre’s Refugee Week and Music for Youth Proms.

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