A composer, dramatist and musicians from Manchester Camerata along with Firefighters from Chester Fire Station and student teachers from the University of Chester worked with pupils from three schools in Chester to explore the themes of anti-social behaviour, hoax calls and deliberate fires. The children performed their new work at Chester Cathedral on Thursday 21 November, with exciting appearances by Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service firefighters and a fire engine!
The fantastic piece of musical drama created was based on a story about Prometheus stealing fire from Zeus, giving it to the mortals and then witnessing how humans misused and disrespected it. Prometheus, seeing how the fire was being misused, threatened to take it from the humans and showed them what a world without fire would look like unless they promised to pay fire respect and use it in the correct way.
Anthony McCarthy, from Cheshire Fire & Rescue said, “The whole project was a complete success, culminating in a brilliant performance by the children. I have had a number of people give me feedback, mainly parents, who have said that their children have since not stopped talking about the experience. This to me is the reason why we did the project in the first place. If we have left a lasting impression on them, then it may mean a fire/tragedy is averted in the future. I have to express my gratitude to Manchester Camerata’s practitioners Andy, Paul, Amina and Janet for their professionalism. It was inspirational to see how they managed to get the children working toward such a compelling story that was so well received. The music and lyrics had equal impact and seem to work together perfectly due to their hard work.”
Sir Edmund Burton, of the Philip Barker Charity said: “On behalf of the Philip Barker Trustees I would like to thank and congratulate Manchester Camerata and Cheshire Fire & Rescue for delivering such an inspiring performance. This success was justly deserved and well earned. The careful planning and attention to detail; the confident, cheerful and enthusiastic style of working; and the sense of energy and commitment; all inspired the young people and will be an enduring experience for them and the other members of the audience.”
Ed Vaizey, MP (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport) says:
'I have frequent engagement with Manchester Camerata and I commend its imaginative approach in engaging other parts of local services, particularly the fire and rescue service and the health service. The arts can not only engage young people and children in education, they can also help to engage adults in a whole range of other local services.'