Musical theatre or opera… or both?

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Glyndebourne Youth Opera participant Oscar Morgan (right), who performs in Nothing, a new opera based on Janne Teller’s novel this February, talks of his experience with the two artforms.

Until recently I’d never been very interested in opera. Musical theatre, yes, but opera not so much. So what’s changed?

Since I was about 12 I’ve been very keen on acting and singing and have had a passion for musical theatre. When I was 13, I gained a place in the National Youth Music Theatre performing in their new commission, The Other School, at the St James Theatre in London. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to perform with them in their 2014 and 2015 productions and I’m currently preparing for this year’s audition.

I’m now studying Performing Arts and Musical Theatre at Sussex Downs College and I hope to be accepted into Drama School next year.

A couple of years ago I took part in a few workshops with Glyndebourne Youth Opera and enjoyed them thoroughly. To my mum’s delight we were given two dress-rehearsal tickets to see Don Giovanni.

Other than the odd appearance of the Go Compare man on my telly screen or having my grandpa booming Classic FM out of his car speakers, this was my first real experience with opera. The production really opened my eyes. It made me realise opera isn’t an elitist artform at all. It was surprisingly easy to follow and really very enjoyable.

As it turns out, opera really isn’t that different from musical theatre. Both performance styles combine acting, singing and movement to tell a story and create a spectacle for the audience. And since being involved with Nothing, a very contemporary opera, I’ve realised even more how similar the two are.

While musical theatre is still my first love and a career in it will always be my ultimate goal, I’d love to take part in many more opera productions in the future.

Nothing is a fantastic piece and it’s been great fun to work on. If you’re still undecided about opera, come and see Nothing and let Glyndebourne Youth Opera convert you.


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

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