Four couples from four different eras see their stories entwine at Lovers Walk

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Lovers Walk is a brand new one-act opera commissioned by Glyndebourne and created by Glyndebourne’s first ever Young-Composer-in-Residence, Luke Styles. This exciting new piece imagines four couples from different stages in history as they face challenging and compelling emotional struggles pursuing the ones they love, their lives become entwined by one common thread; Brighton’s Preston Park and its aptly named courting path, Lover’s Walk.

The resonant themes explored throughout Lovers Walk bring to the fore the heady emotion that first love brings as four couples, from different times, share the same courting path. We see the first shoots of young love as they are sown and the resulting stories intersect and produce a collage of love stories, delving into the romantic attitudes of past, present and future.

Lovers Walk is a piece specifically designed for young singers and is Luke Styles’first composition commission for Glyndebourne. Young performers have been recruited through the Glyndebourne Youth Opera groups and the Glyndebourne Youth Company and many will go on to perform in Glyndebourne’s next large-scale community opera, Imago in 2013.

Renowned Brighton-based Librettist Stephen Plaice created this cross-era piece using expertise gathered across the genres of opera, theatre and film. In the last decade Stephen has become one of Britain’s leading librettists and book writers for musical theatre and has had a long, positive relationship with Glyndebourne which began as librettist on Misper (1997&1998), then Zoë (2000), Tangier Tattoo in 2005 and School 4 Lovers in 2006.

Three of the Lovers Walk cast; Billy Charlesworth, Lydia Hague and Marie-Elaine Sexton, performed in the chorus of Glyndebourne’s community opera Knight Crew (2010) and are now developing burgeoning youth careers in the world of opera.

Luke Styles, Young Composer in Residence said:“Composing Lovers Walk has been an amazing opportunity that has allowed me to create my first complete chamber opera; a rare and extremely valuable opportunity as a composer and one which will always stand at the start of my opera writing career. To write for the talented young people at Glyndebourne has made me go to the core of my musical voice and write something that embraces their youthfulness and exceptional talent.”

Lovers Walk is an ensemble piece with several solo roles for young performers. The objective of the project is to develop the cast’s singing and performance skills and Glyndebourne education maintain their strong commitment to commissioning high-quality work for many young people.

Lovers Walk is directed by Thomas Guthrie and designed by former Glyndebourne costumier Kitty Callister. The piece premieres at the Birley Centre, in Eastbourne, with an additional performance at Glyndebourne as part of the 2012 Glyndebourne Tour. The Lovers Walk company is made up of young people aged 14