Participant case studies

Gigi Casey

Gigi is a member of Glyndebourne Youth Opera and has also appeared on stage in some of our Festival productions.

Past Projects


2012 – Til the Summer Comes Again
2013 – Into the Harbour, Carry Me Home
2014 – Tycho’s Dream
2014 – The Sixteen: A Concert for Christmas
2015 – The Carmen Project
2015 – The Sixteen: A Concert for Christmas
2016 – The Vixen Project
2016 – A Garden Dream

How did you find out about Glyndebourne Youth Opera?

‘My sister, Kitty, and I watched Gareth Malone’s programme about the youth opera at Glyndebourne; after watching it we told our parents that we wanted to be part of that world.

Our parents called and asked if my sister and I could be put in the waiting list for the GYO, but we were soon accepted into our first project. We took part in a workshop which was all about L’enfant et sortilèges from the Ravel Double Bill. The directors asked us all to put ourselves into the shoes of a child who was feeling frustrated by their parents and angry at the world. we devised our own song and drama piece which we performed to our parents.

Later that year, we were offered tickets by the education department to see the dress rehearsal of this opera, it made the experience so much more meaningful because we had already thought about the character’s emotions. We were able to understand it much more easily. It felt like, in some small way, we might have influenced the final production.’

What did you hope to get out of being part of GYO?

‘I wanted the chance to learn more about opera. I had been in musical theatre productions, but didn’t know much about opera. I had seen The Cunning Little Vixen at the Royal Opera House but that was it.’

What do you most enjoy about GYO?

‘Meeting new people and singing such a variety of music.’

The Cunning Little Vixen, 2016 (Gigi Casey pictured centre). Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

What has been the highlight of your time as a GYO member?

‘Getting opportunities, from the education department, to perform twice in Glyndebourne Festival productions. First in Carmen in 2015 and in The Cunning Little Vixen in 2016.

‘I will never forget acting on stage as the Glyndebourne Chorus sang La cloche a sonné – it was the most beautiful choral singing I had ever heard.’

What are the top three things you’ve gained through being part of GYO?

‘An understanding of opera; performance skills; advice from all the professionals I have worked with.’

What’s it like to perform at Glyndebourne?

‘It is a special place. I have loved performing on the main stage and more recently even in the gardens of Glyndebourne! A Garden Dream was a wonderful experience it was exciting, fun and joyful.’

What do you hope to do in the future?

‘My ambition is to return to Glyndebourne and perform as part of the chorus. They have been so wonderful to work with, so many talented people all singing together is an amazing sound to hear.’

Information collected 18/09/16

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