HUNDREDS of youngsters from across Renfrewshire hit all the right notes as they took part in an interactive live performance with Scottish Opera.

The hour-long musical experience at Paisley Town Hall showed budding singers how an opera is made and featured them as the chorus, singing alongside the national company’s professional principal singers and 50-strong orchestra.

As part of The Opera Factory education initiative, around 400 children from 11 primary schools were taught a song adapted from the aria Non piu andrai, from Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro.

The song If you go to a show that’s an opera was specially arranged by Scottish Opera’s head of music Derek Clark, who was also the conductor, and new lyrics were penned by actor and director Allan Dunn.

Pupils from Thorn Primary, Cochrane Castle Primary and Fordbank Primary, all in Johnstone; Our Lady of Peace Primary and Woodlands Primary, both in Linwood; Bridge of Weir Primary; Wallace Primary, in Elderslie; Lochwinnoch Primary; Inchinnan Primary; and St John Ogilvie Primary and Mossvale Primary, both in Paisley; all took part.

To prepare, the children also watched short films and learned from guide vocal tracks presented and sung by mezzo soprano Sarah Shorter.

They also studied the different people who work at Scottish Opera, from costume and set designers to directors and conductors.

Pupils were also made aware of the different elements that take an opera from the earliest planning stages to rehearsals and opening night.

Rebecca Rose Malone, of Wallace Primary, said: “I enjoyed watching the conductor using his baton to show when voices go up and down."

Classmate Leo MacDonald added: “I enjoyed learning about the costumes. Some costumes can make you look rich and I would like to design some."

Primary three pupil Chloe Fahey said: “I liked learning the song and working as part of a team."

Councillor Jim Paterson, Renfrewshire's education convener, is full of praise for all involved.

He said: “It’s been wonderful to welcome Scottish Opera so that hundreds of our young people can learn more about the art form.

“I know they worked hard in school ahead of the show to learn the song and were excited to sing live with a real orchestra and professional singers.

“It’s a great initiative which opens culture up to youngsters from all backgrounds and makes it accessible to all and which hopefully may lead to a lifelong love of music and the arts.”

Jane Davidson MBE, Scottish Opera’s director of outreach and education, added: “We are delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Council on this exciting project.

"The schools in the area have always had a very good reputation for teaching and performing music, especially vocal music, and the pupils raised the rafters in Paisley Town Hall, singing along with the orchestra and singers of Scottish Opera.”