News and Features
Growing up at Glyndebourne
Since 2011, sisters Kitty and Gigi Casey have participated in a wide variety of education projects. As they head off to university they take a look back at their Glyndebourne journey.
As they both head off to university, they have shared their Glyndebourne journey with us. We have loved watching them grow as performers and would all like to wish Kitty and Gigi all the best in their future endeavours.
Gigi and Kitty Casey joined Glyndebourne Youth Opera in 2011 and have taken part in a host of education projects, including our community operas Nothing, Belongings and Agreed. The sisters have also successfully auditioned for small roles in the Festival. Both appeared in The Cunning Little Vixen (2016), and Kitty played one of the geishas in Madama Butterfly (2018).
Being in Glyndebourne Education productions and the youth operas has taught me a great deal about being part of an ensemble, rehearsal demands and the need for professionalism in every aspect of a singer’s life. I have had the opportunity to interact with conductors, directors, voice and language coaches, soloists, professional choristers, many of whom have advised me on the pathways I might take to achieve a career in opera. When I look back on all these experiences I feel grateful and extremely lucky!
This September, I headed off to University to read Music and I took all that I had learned at Glyndebourne with me. I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at Glyndebourne who has supported and given me a chance to be a part of so much joyful music making. In some ways it feels as though I have grown up at Glyndebourne.
I have gained a huge amount of confidence over the past eight years from all the opportunities that have come directly from the Education department. Each experience has helped me to grow in confidence as a person and a performer.
Mary King prepared me for my auditions through the Glyndebourne Education projects and so I was thrilled to have a chance to audition for her last year to become a Glyndebourne Junior Artist. I cannot express how grateful I am for all her support and for the opportunities I have had through this scheme. It has been a dream of a year.
I will be only 17 years old when I stand in front of the conservatoires to audition this year. I am going to give it everything I’ve got. I feel certain that without all the opportunities and experiences I have been given at Glyndebourne, this would not be the case. Thank you for every experience and opportunity.
The parents’ story
Our girls have grown up at Glyndebourne and it has changed us all. We knew our little girls loved to sing and perform, but we did not know what the GYO workshops would lead to. They have both found the thing that makes them happy. They know what they want to do with their lives. We have had our eyes and ears opened to music and beautiful performances that we would never have seen or heard. Through our children, we have come to love opera and the special place that Glyndebourne is.
The positive, ripple effect has spread throughout our family: grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles and cousins have all made many trips to Glyndebourne to see our girls perform. As a teacher, I have had the opportunity to pay forward my positive experiences too, by introducing over 300 children to opera for the first time.
They have been shaped into the people they are through their experiences at Glyndebourne. The impact of their experiences at Glyndebourne will always be a part of who they are. All we can say for many wonderful years, is thank you.
Image credits: Nothing, 2016. Photo: Robert Workman | The Cunning Little Vixen, 2016. Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
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