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Balancing the Score

A new development scheme exclusively for female composers offering up to four women the chance to spend two years immersed in life at Glyndebourne.

a development scheme exclusively for female composers.

Balancing the Score is a scheme which supports female composers to develop their work in the field of opera. Our four composers; Anna Appleby, Ninfea Crutwell-Reade, Cecilia Livingston and Ailie Roberts, have spent two years immersing themselves in life at Glyndebourne, meeting professional opera makers, attending performances and rehearsals and developing new work to be performed at Glyndebourne. This has allowed each composer to increase their knowledge on how an international opera house functions whilst investigating different approaches to the creation of new opera.

Top row – Anna Appleby and Cecilia Livingston Bottom row – Ninfea Crutwell-Reade and Ailie Roberts 

Photo credit: James Bellorini

In 2018, each composer was invited to write a short composition which was performed at one of four performances of La traviata: Behind the Curtain during the Glyndebourne Tour. 

In 2019, Anna Appleby teamed up with Glyndebourne’s Jerwood Young Artists to create a new song cycle to be performed alongside Festival and Tour performances. The resulting composition From the River, set to words by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, was performed in August by Stephanie Wake-Edwards and Matthew Fletcher, and again in November at the Royal Opera House.

Ninfea Crutwell-Reade’s has composed a new song cycle from Joseph Roth’s Radetzkymarsch, based on the iconic Austrian novel about the decline of an empire. It was due to receive its premiere during Glyndebourne Festival 2020, alongside new works from the other composers on the scheme. These performances have been postponed. 

This year, the four composers have been working together to create an exciting new work to be performed by Glyndebourne Youth Opera, working with librettist Hazel Gould whose text will provide the basis for the music. This new four-way commission is very much a Glyndebourne first, and as well as providing our four composers with the perfect compositional challenge through their time at Glyndebourne, it will provide ample scope for the excellent young performers aged between 9 and 19 in Glyndebourne Youth Opera.

Balancing the Score – supporting female composers is made possible thanks to
Wendy and Nicholas Heesom

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