Four young singers from Sussex and South London will perform alongside international opera singers at the 2015 Glyndebourne Festival.
The amateur performers, aged between 11 and 14, are all members of Glyndebourne Youth Opera (GYO) and will appear in Carmen this summer alongside top opera singers including Stéphanie d’Oustrac and Lucy Crowe.
Sisters Gigi (13) and Kitty (14) Casey from Worthing, West Sussex, Cerys Herbert-Stott (13) from Eastbourne, East Sussex and Ruby Greis (12) from Wimbledon in South London will appear in fifteen Carmen performances between 23 May and 11 July.
They were given their places after taking part in a GYO Carmen project in which they received vocal coaching, French language training and guidance in performing as an ensemble, to prepare them to audition.
Glyndebourne’s Director of Artistic Administration, Steven Naylor, said: “The music for the Children’s Chorus in Carmen is demanding. Signing it with musical accuracy at the same time as portraying a convincing character and interacting with the performers around you is no small challenge. It’s a great testament to the quality of the training offered by Glyndebourne Youth Opera and the hard work of these four young singers that they were given their places.”
Bizet’s Carmen is the second of six operas in the 2015 Glyndebourne Festival. The season opens on 21 May with the UK’s first professional production of Poliuto, a rarely performed masterwork by Donizetti.
During its 81 year history, Glyndebourne has presented a number of such firsts including Verdi’s Macbeth (1938), Idomeneo by Mozart (1950), Intermezzo by Richard Strauss (1974) and Rossini’s Ermione (1995).
Poliuto is directed by the French director Mariame Clement. The title role will be sung by the exciting American tenor Michael Fabiano while Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez returns to Glyndebourne as Paolina, a role often associated with Maria Callas.
The rest of the Festival 2015 season comprises of operas by Mozart, Handel, Britten and Ravel.
Image: Kitty Casey in rehearsals for the Glyndebourne Youth Opera performance of Into the Harbour, Carry Me Home. Photographer: Sam Stephenson.