As many sights, sounds and experiences as possible were crammed into this week long trip with pupils from the Senior School. To blink would be to miss an important moment in a city pulsating with culture and populated with incredibly welcoming hosts; the only thing to do was to keep our eyes open for as long as possible.
We were enthralled by spellbinding performances of Wicked – a production of powerful songs which captivated the audience and quickly had the pupils singing ‘Defying Gravity’ (with varying degrees of success). At the Sydney Opera House, we were able to see a performance of The King and I which blended comedy and tragedy seamlessly in a play which was worthy of the magnificent theatre in which it was performed.
On the final evening, we were lucky enough to see Cirque du Soleil showcase performers with strength and discipline in a production paying tribute to this beautiful art form; a delight in both sound and sight. The pupils were visibly inspired and then had a chance to channel this enthusiasm into the drama workshops with Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). Pupils honed their improvisation skills and eagerly listened to experienced actors’ advice as they walked in the footsteps of distinguished NIDA alumni such as Baz Lurman.
The spread of different art museums, from the contemporary White Rabbit Gallery to the world-renowned Museum of New South Wales, gave pupils the opportunity to recognise a wide variety of inspiration fuelling diverse expressions of art. From traditional Indigenous Australian art to contemporary art, our guides spoke passionately about every installation, painting and photograph that we were privileged to see.
In turn the pupils themselves were stimulated to express themselves in their sketchbooks, which were never far from their side. The pupils enthusiastically captured the essence of Sydney wherever they went, whether sketching famous landmarks or even a pattern on a napkin. All these activities were naturally interspersed with a wide selection of different cuisines and sightseeing, including a trip to Bondi Beach where everyone was glad to relax before heading onto the next exciting event.
The pupils were genuinely delighted to be on the trip organised in such detail by Miss Cowley and Mrs Prime. They made the most of every opportunity on offer and were excellent ambassadors for the College. It was with a heavy heart that we left Sydney. Many pupils were left wanting a longer stay, but I doubt that even with a month there, we would have been ready to leave.
Teacher of English