The Bedfordshire Youth Opera has been unique in the UK providing one of very few opportunities for young people to experience opera. Formerly run by the local authority music service it is now an independent group managed by Bedfordshire Music Trust. The Youth Opera has been an inspiration to both singers and audience and was the launch-pad for the careers of several professional artists such as Rachel Nicholls, Carolyn Samson, Tyler Clarke, Kitty Whately (who is the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist 2013-2015) and Donna Lennard who made her Royal Opera House debut in December 2013. Past performances of the Youth Opera have included Die Fledermaus, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Magic Flute and Iolanthe, to name but a few.
The Youth Opera project is about more than just providing opportunities for singers and musicians. The group performs serious works in fully staged productions with opportunities for those looking to build their experience in set design and build, costume, lighting, production and marketing. Productions typically involve 25 to 30 singers, a similar number of musicians and a production team of up to 20 including volunteers. Many past members have gone on to become producers and directors, using the skills they developed here to nurture other young talents. So this project provides an excellent platform for young people to develop new skills and an appreciation of opera that will be especially important for those furthering their careers in the arts.
Standard: For soprano, alto, tenor or bass singers age 14-26 with some experience of singing plus the ability to read music.
Artistic Director: Fred Broom
Musical Director: David Knight
Timing: An annual production. Auditions will be held during the workshop 14 -15 April 2018 and rehearsals start in July, going throughout the summer leading up to performances in the last week of August and early September. The complete dates are as follows:
Opera Workshop: (Sat – Sun) 14-15 April 2018, Sundon Park
Cast Workshop: (Sat – Sun) 7-8 July 2018, Sundon Park
Principal Workshop: (Sat – Sun) 14 – 15 July 2018 Sundon Park
Opera Course: Saturday 11 August – Monday, 27 August 2018, Venue TBC
Performances: Tuesday,28 August – Saturday 1 September 2018, Venue TBC
Entry: By audition for singers, at the Workshop. Players do not need to be auditioned if they already play in one of our other senior groups.
Vacancies: All singers welcome, but particularly tenors and basses
If you would like to book a place on a course which is running imminently, please visit our book a course page
If you have any queries or would like to be kept up to date with news relating to this course, please drop us an email – we will respond to you as soon as we can, and we will add you to our general mailing list.