03 October 2014.
September saw the very exciting re-launch of Bedfordshire Youth Opera, with a thrilling production of Mozart’s Magic Flute.
We were blown away by Bedfordshire Youth Opera’s performance of the Magic Flute last night. Particularly fabulous was the solo ensemble singing – this was across the board though I do think the Three Ladies and the Three Boys were particularly brilliant, with excellent altos balancing the harmony beautifully (which you don’t always get). The Ladies and the Boys all sang with immense glee and gusto as well as sweetness and clarity which was very moving. The whole thing was by turns funny, moving, beautiful – though obviously you have to ignore the shocking gender stereotyping and gender politics which frankly make you itch to re-write the libretto. David Knight and his orchestra were superb, and the whole design concept was imaginative and well-executed.
As one who has seen all four performances of Flute by BYO I too was impressed by the performance on the last night. Very well done everyone! Long may BYO flourish!! It is a unique opportunity for so many musical students!
“That was just a superb performance last week and we enjoyed it so much – as much if not more than a visit to a professional theatre.”
“Great performance, clever production.”
“What a triumph!”
Bedfordshire Youth Opera was originally an independent organisation and ran from 1982 – 2012 under the musical direction of John Shayler. Lack of Local Authority funding meant that it was no longer sustainable, and so Bedfordshire Music Trust has now taken over the organisation and re-launched the Youth Opera in 2014, with the help of funding from Harpur Trust, the Wixamtree Trust and Friends of Bedfordshire Youth Music.
BYO alumni include world-renowned sopranos Carolyn Sampson and Rachel Nicholls, internationally acclaimed baritones Simon Bailey and Ben Nelson, professional sopranos Rebecca Bottone, Donna Lennard and Kitty Whately, professional tenors Matthew Kimble and Tyler Clark and professional bass Russell Matthews.
Former cast members who have embarked on musical theatre careers include Dale Branston, Dan Smith, Fred Broom and Alan Bowles.
The production team for 2104 comprised Dan Smith (Director), David Knight (Musical Director), Christopher Phelps (Assistant Musical Director), Lottie Greenhow (Producer), Alan Bowles (Production Manager) and Andrew Longland-Meech (Company Stage Manager).
Youth Opera participants are required to audition for productions but are not required to read music or have any prior performing experience. Auditions for 2015 Production will take place in January 2015 (see main webpage).
Many thanks to Patrick Allen for his stunning photos of this production.