Much Ado About Nothing

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Glyndebourne Youth Opera member Francesca Seaborne updates us on progress with rehearsals for Nothing.

Last May I was part of the Glyndebourne Youth Opera (GYO) performance Dido and Aeneas, which took place in the Ebert Room at Glyndebourne.

With that experience drawing to an end, I cannot express my sheer joy when it was announced that Glyndebourne was going to embark on a large-scale youth opera in which GYO2 would have a chance to perform – this time on the main stage.

The minute I was able to sign up for an audition I did, and could not believe my good fortune to be chosen to be singing and performing alongside professional singers. We also have the absolute privilege to be working and learning from a world-class creative team, headed by composer David Bruce, conductor Sîan Edwards, director Bijan Sheibani and assistant conductor Lee Reynolds, as well as many others.

The Dido and Aeneas experience stood me in good stead for the intense rehearsals that are needed to produce a full-scale youth opera such as Nothing. We’re currently rehearsing three days a week on Tuesday and Wednesday after school from 6.30pm-9.30pm and again on Saturday from 10am-5pm.

I absolutely relish these rehearsals – they’re truly the highlight of my week. Not only do I have a chance to be with like-minded friends who are also enjoying the whole rehearsal experience with me, but I’m also gaining experience of how to work in a company environment and how to conduct myself and sing as a unit. I’ve learned singing techniques from the professional singers that I had only limited knowledge of before.

Being involved in Nothing has surpassed my expectations and I’ve nothing but admiration for the professional singers and the creative team, as I’ve seen first-hand how dedicated they are and just how much hard work goes into a production of this scale.

I didn’t think I could get any more excited about the project, but seeing the set for the first time on 12 January has done just that! It really now feels like it is all coming together and I cannot wait for the performances in February.

I’ll try not to be too sad this time when it all comes to an end, as Charles Dickens once said: ‘The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again’. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do this all over again in the near future.


Nothing is performed at Glyndebourne on 25, 26 and 27 February 2016.

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