Glyndebourne Academy - where are they now?

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Applications are now open for Glyndebourne Academy, running in 2017 for the third time. We caught up with some previous participants to talk about the impact that taking part in the programme had on them.

Darwin Prakash

Photo: Sam Stephenson

Darwin Prakash, an Indian baritone, had only been singing for six months prior to taking part in Glyndebourne Academy. Encouraged to apply by his singing teacher, who had discovered his singing ability while teaching in Delhi, Darwin highlighted the “invaluable experiences” Glyndebourne Academy gave him in learning “pretty much everything important pertaining to singing”.

After finishing Glyndebourne Academy, Darwin went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music, recently gaining a place on their prestigious Opera course. He was also the joint recipient of the inaugural Gus Christie Award at Glyndebourne, a new prize for a young singer who has demonstrated outstanding vocal talent. Recent engagements include performing in a Celebratory Gala Concert at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai, India, on the occasion of its reopening.

William Rennie

Photo: Sam Stephenson

William Rennie, a Welsh tenor, came to singing relatively late in life. Applying for Glyndebourne Academy aged 25, William had auditioned for conservatoires, reaching final audition stages, but a lack of music theory and technique was holding him back. Studying music theory whilst holding down full time work, William found Glyndebourne Academy at just the right time, saying: “I wish we could do the Academy for a year because the progression in a week was ridiculous.”

Following his time with Glyndebourne Academy, William joined North Wales Opera Studio and performed in Kommilitonen! with the Welsh National Youth Opera, singing a small role, opening the opera. He says: “It was pretty nerve wracking, but amazing to open up with such an amazing orchestra”. William has now gained a place at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, noting: “We learnt about auditioning in the Academy and I am certain this helped tenfold with my audition”. Upcoming engagements include a principal role in an opera film shooting this year called Hedd Wynn 2177. The film has been jointly commissioned by Welsh National Opera and the Welsh language TV channel S4C.

Ryan Williams

Photo: Sam Stephenson

Ryan Williams came to opera after discovering his voice while at university, where he studied piano. Coming to Glyndebourne Academy after singing as a post-graduate Tenor Choral Scholar at Portsmouth Cathedral, Ryan says: “Glyndebourne Academy was instrumental in giving me the confidence and the skills I needed to prepare to audition for Postgraduate studies at conservatoire, two out of three of which offered me places on the spot. I am now studying a Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London, thanks to the help and support of all the wonderful people I met on the scheme”

For more information about Glyndebourne Academy including criteria and how to apply, please click here. The application deadline is Friday 27 January 2017.