Freya Wynn-Jones is a director, singer and animateur who works on a wide range of professional, educational and community projects. As a teenager, she was a member of the acclaimed Glyndebourne Youth Opera, and here she tells us how her early experiences at Glyndebourne inspired her to work in theatre and music.
2000 – Zoë
2001 – Airheads
2002 – Fire Work
2003 – Ancestor in the Chalk
2004 – Elemental
2008-present day – Raise Your Voice
2009 – Who am I?
2010 – Ceremony of Carols
2010 – Knight Crew
2011 – On off
2011 – When I am Old
2011-2012 – Glyndebourne Youth Voices
2012 – Lovers Walk
2012 – Gold Run
2012 – Till the Summer Comes Again
2013 – Imago
2013 – Into the Harbour, Carry Me Home
2014 – Tycho’s Dream
How did you become involved in music and directing?
‘I was always a young singer and actor and in 2000 I was in Zoë at Glyndebourne. This was my first experience of opera and after that, I joined Glyndebourne Youth Opera Group [now Glyndebourne Youth Opera]. I was told about Glyndebourne’s work in prisons which gave me the idea of specialising at university in applied theatre. I studied Drama and Psychology and was a music scholar at the University of Exeter. After that I formed my own company and began volunteering at Glyndebourne in the education department, before becoming a freelance artist for them.’
What is it like to work with young people and members of the community?
‘It is my absolute goal and passion. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than giving people the opportunity to discover and understand opera and realise the role they can play in its future development.’
Imago, 2013 (Freya pictured left). Photo: Robert Workman
What has been the most memorable moment working with Glyndebourne?
‘There have been many!
In my working career at Glyndebourne I will always remember opening night of Tycho’s Dream and realising the magnitude of what we had collectively achieved. Raise Your Voice also gives me countless memories of seeing how music and opera can be used to enhance the lives of people living with dementia. To see someone connect with the music on a deep and intuitive level, and to see your role in that experience is totally career-affirming.’
What would you say to anyone thinking about taking part in an education project?
‘I spend my life encouraging young people to take advantage of opportunities that allow them to engage with opera. In my mind, opera has something for everyone and having their voice in the mix is vital.’
Elemental, 2004 (Freya pictured centre). Photo: Mike Hoban
Freya Wynn-Jones is a director, singer and animateur. You can find out more about Freya’s work here.
[Information collected 07/10/16]