Glyndebourne Education & collaborations

Collaboration is an integral part of opera. So it is unsurprising that many of Glyndebourne Education projects are run in partnership with other organisations – from schools and charities to government-funded initiatives and local authorities – helping Glyndebourne deliver projects to as broad a group of people as possible.

Past collaborations

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - Fairy Queen Project (2009)
Annually, Glyndebourne Education and the Education Department at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment collaborate to deliver a project in schools in East Sussex and London. These projects are based around a Festival production for which the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is the orchestra. 2009's project was based on Purcell's Fairy Queen and involved two rural Primary schools from East Sussex and two inner-city primary schools from London.

Transition (2004-2009)
A five-year project in which Glyndebourne worked with school children during the four-month period when they move from primary to secondary school. The project offered each child continuity during an unsettling period. Workshops were led by professional staff and opera singers culminating in a visit to Glyndebourne to experience a live production. The project, based in Newhaven and Peacehaven, involved six primary schools and two secondary schools with over 300 students taking part each year. The final year of the Transition Project began in June 2008, and culminated on 5 March 2009 with a performance of a newly commissioned work, A Shadow Awaits.

A Shadow Awaits (2009)
A Shadow Awaits was devised by 300 Year 7 students, in conjunction with John Barber and James Redwood, through the Glyndebourne Transition project. The performance was a response to the tale of Hansel and Gretel, re-examining a classic, if somewhat dark, operatic work through the eyes of the modern child. The work was presented as part of the Sing Up Newhaven and Peacehaven event and featured students studying at Peacehaven Community School and Newhaven Tideway School alongside chamber choirs from the two secondary schools, musicians from the Royal Academy of Music and a professional vocalist.

Sing Up Pegasus (2008)
In January 2008, Glyndebourne Education collaborated with Pegasus Opera and the Royal Opera House to deliver a residency for professional singers and other music practitioners, developing skills to provide singing opportunities for primary school children as part of Sing Up.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - Poppea Project (2008)
In 2008 six schools and youth groups from London and Brighton worked with artists from Glyndebourne and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to create a new film based on Claudio Monteverdi's L’incoronazione di Poppea, which was shown before the Proms performance of Poppea on July 31 2008.

Stoke Operatunity (2005-2007)
From 2005 to 2007, young people from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent participated in weekly workshops exploring the key areas associated with opera, with the aim of creating their very own work. Youth Operatunity was a partnership between Make Some Noise, the New Vic Theatre, the Victoria Hall, the Regent Theatre, the Lichfield Garrick, and Glyndebourne Education, and funded by Youth Music, Arts Council West Midlands, Lichfield District Council, Staffordshire County Council, Lichfield Conduit Lands and the three venues.

Thanet Residency (2001-2003)
From 2001 to 2003 Glyndebourne held a highly successful residency in Thanet to enhance and develop the music theatre and singing in the area and provide training opportunities. The residency aimed to improve access to the arts (particularly for young people), developing skills in the arts and strengthening cultural provision in the area. It celebrated the area using the performing arts as a vehicle for change, while working towards a series of performances over the three years, created and performed by the community.

In 2002 Glyndebourne led a summer of song-making which culminated in a singing event at the Theatre Royal, Margate. Thanet Voices is made up of 130 performers aged between six and 86.

In 2003, community groups and individuals from the area had the opportunity to write, compose, sing, develop drama and create design work. Four different community groups (children, young people, Mencap and the general public) created music theatre pieces that were performed at various venues around Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs.

Glyndebourne Education & new work

Ever since its inception in 1986, Glyndebourne Education has been an important force behind the company’s commitment to new works. From large-scale youth operas for the main stage, to intimate group workshops, the majority of Glyndebourne Education’s youth and community projects involve the commissioning of new works.

Knight Crew
The newest and largest of Glyndebourne Education’s projects, Knight Crew is a large-scale community opera commissioned specifically for the main stage, involving every department at Glyndebourne. Culminating in March 2010 with four performances, Knight Crew is an urban story based on the King Arthur legend, brought to the stage by a collaboration involving Glyndebourne’s first composer-in-residence, Julian Philips; librettist and award-winning author Nicky Singer; and director John Fulljames.

Under the umbrella title of the Round Table Project, this programme of participatory and work-related learning gave more young people than ever before the opportunity to take part in a Glyndebourne production. Glyndebourne has initiated a programme of 20 skills workshops to provide support leading up to the auditions. The workshops reached more than 450 young people—largely from rural and urban schools and communities—with little previous experience of similar initiatives, who joined members of Glyndebourne’s own Youth Opera Group at the final auditions. Additionally, the project supported supports the delivery of the new work-related qualification, the Creative and Media Diploma. This integrated education initiative explores creative and vocational learning and participation and is available to 14-18 year olds in Ringmer and Crawley. As well as ensuring the broadest number of local young people could participate, Knight Crew also involved parents, carers and other members of the local community in a ‘Mothers’ Chorus’.

Prior Work

Key to abbreviations:

C community opera
GYO commissioned for Glyndebourne Youth Opera
JCDS commissioned by Glyndebourne Education for Jerwood Chorus Development Scheme
M performed on Glyndebourne’s main stage
POE commissioned for Primary Opera Experience

On the Rim of the World (2009) M

  • A choral theatre work for young singers composed by Orlando Gough with a libretto by Jehane Markham, this co-commission with seven other opera companies is for both children and adults’ voices and incorporates music composed by the participants.

  • The performance featured 70 children aged 8-13 from the Glyndebourne Youth Opera with their parents and carers and players from the Brighton Youth Orchestra.

The Magic Flute (2009) M

  • Commissioned for an audience of schools and families, as a way to introduce young people (aged 6-11) to opera.

  • After two sell-out performances at the Brighton Festival in May 2009, Glyndebourne Education decided to broaden the impact of the project by adding four extra main stage performances of the opera.

  • Also seen around the country through five performances as part of Glyndebourne on Tour

  • The adaptation, by Dominic Harlan and Brendan Murray, drew on elements of pantomime and fairytale, as well as audience participation, to give a new and intimate approach to this well-known opera.

The Yellow Sofa (2009) JCDS

  • A new opera for the 2009 Festival by composer-in-residence, Julian Philips, with a libretto by Edward Kemp directed by Frederic Wake-Walker.

  • Performed by members of the Glyndebourne Chorus in the Jerwood Studio before selected performances at the 2009 Glyndebourne Festival.

Two Truths (2007) POE

  • A new mini opera, based on Macbeth composed by James Redwood in cooperation with librettist Alison Fenner.

  • Commissioned for Glyndebourne on Tour and Primary Opera Experience with two professional singers.

Ghosts/Followers (2007) JCDS

  • Created by Julian Philips, Glyndebourne’s first composer-in-residence. Libretto by Simon Christmas and directed by Olivia Fuchs.

  • A site-specific promenade opera using three spaces at Glyndebourne: the Organ Room, the Old Green Room and Ebert Room.

  • Included a week-long development workshop on the project in July 2007 and two workshop performances of the first two scenes and a workshop on the third scene in August 2008.

Auditorium (2007)

  • Commissioned from composer Ed Hughes and artist Sophy Rickett. A film with music, commissioned by Glyndebourne and Photoworks, a Brighton-based visual arts organisation, presented as part of an exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion and exhibited worldwide.

  • As part of Photoperative, six pairs of students from Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College and the East Sussex Academy of Music followed the artist's working process and collaborated through making their own slide show films with music, recorded by the South Downs Youth Orchestra, and then performed at Glyndebourne live alongside Auditorium.

School 4 Lovers (2006) M

  • A ‘hip h’opera’ commissioned by Glyndebourne and Finnish National Opera in celebration of Mozart’s 250th birthday with a concept by Markus Kosuch, musical arrangements by Jonathan Gill and Charlie Parker and a libretto by Stephen Plaice.

  • The opera, a reworking of Così fan tutte aimed at young people over the age of 14, transposed the action from Da Ponte's original 18th century libretto to a 21st century inner city sink estate, transforming his verse into rap.

  • The performance attracted a new, wider, more diverse and younger audience to Glyndebourne, 49% of whom were making their first visit.

Still Water (2006) POE

  • A new commission for primary schools on tour inspired by Britten’s Turn of the Screw from composer James Redwood and librettist Alison Fenner, directed by Hazel Gould.

  • Involving two professional singers and piano.

  • Also performed at Glyndebourne Open Day in February 2007.

Cinderella (2005) POE

  • A 30-minute opera based on a new version of the Cinderella story by Alison Fenner, composed by James Redwood and adapted by Hazel Gould for two professional singers and piano.

Strange Nature (2005) GYO

  • Music by Katherine Gillham and libretto by Lloyd Thomas (recent GYO members).

  • Was first performed in Glyndebourne’s Jerwood Studio, before being seen again later that year in Utrecht as part of the YO! Festival.

Ancestor in the Chalk (2003) GYO

  • A music theatre piece by composer Orlando Gough and libretto by John Agard and Commissioned by Glyndebourne for Glyndebourne Youth Opera Group and Brighton Youth Orchestra.

  • Performed on tour in Spain, at Brighton Festival Elemental and at Glyndebourne.

Firework (2002) GYO

  • A music theatre piece by composer Will Todd and libretto by Elizabeth Clarke Melville.

  • Commissioned by Glyndebourne for Glyndebourne Youth Opera Group and Brighton Youth Orchestra.

  • Performed on tour in Scotland, at Brighton Festival Elemental and at Glyndebourne.

Airheads (2001) GYO

  • A music theatre piece by composer Ian McCrae and libretto by Jane Buckler.

  • Commissioned by Glyndebourne for Glyndebourne Youth Opera Group and Brighton Youth Orchestra.

  • Performed on tour in Germany and in Brighton.

Zoë (2000) M, GYO

  • Created by the partnership of composer John Lunn, librettist Stephen Plaice and director Stephen Langridge, received its world première on the main stage in March 2000.

  • John Lunn, Stephen Plaice and Stephen Langridge led workshops in Brighton and Hove Schools, as well as local colleges to involve young people in the creative process.

  • Zoë was aimed at 12 to 18-year-olds

  • This team was commissioned by Glyndebourne to create Tangier Tattoo for GOT in 2005

  • Filmed by Oxford Television for Channel 4.

Misper (1997) M

  • Created by composer John Lunn, librettist Stephen Plaice and director Stephen Langridge.

  • The success of Misper meant that it was revived the following year. And the response from the young people who took part in it was so overwhelming that it also prompted the creation of a completely new strand of Glyndebourne Education’s work – Glyndebourne Youth Opera.

  • Performed by five professional singers, 73 young people and a youth orchestra.

In Search of Angels (1995) C

  • The third of Jonathan Dove’s Glyndebourne Education operas – community opera performed in Peterborough.

  • Jonathan had also been commissioned by Glyndebourne to compose Flight(1989).

Dream Dragons (1993) C

  • Jonathan Dove opera commissioned by Glyndebourne – community opera performed in Ashford, Kent

Hastings Spring (1990) C

  • First Jonathan Dove Glyndebourne Education opera – community opera performed on Hastings Pier

  • Production team included director Tim Hopkins, designer Nigel Lowery and movement director Melly Still. Among the cast was Phelim McDermott.

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