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Q&A with Huw Montague Rendall

Huw Montague Rendall chats to us about his upcoming return to Glyndebourne in Così fan tutte.

We catch up with Huw Montague Rendall as he returns to Glyndebourne this summer.

Five years since becoming a Jerwood Young Artist, Huw looks forward to playing Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in the upcoming 2021 Festival and discusses why this role is so exciting. 

What was your time like as a Jerwood Young Artist?

‘Being a Jerwood Young Artist helped me gain confidence in performing and developing my craft with wonderful coaches in a safe and supportive environment. I received coaching and performing opportunities throughout the season with very important people in the industry. What I learned during my season as a Jerwood Young Artist I have taken with me to everything I have done since and I am sure everything I will do in the future.’

What opportunities have come your way at Glyndebourne since being a Jerwood Young Artist?

‘In the summer of 2020 during the ‘outdoor season,’ I was invited to sing in a concert of former Jerwood Young Artists which took place on the lawn. I have sung the role of Fiorello with the company as my ‘professional debut’ during the season of 2016. In autumn of 2020 I was scheduled to sing Papageno on the Tour which was inevitably cancelled due to COVID-19 but thanks to Glyndebourne’s hard work and the hard work of our team, we managed to create a shortened socially distanced version which took place last November and December.’

How does it feel to be returning to Glyndebourne in 2021?

‘Coming back to Glyndebourne is always a wonderful feeling. It has been a huge part not only of my professional life, but of my personal life also, so to come back in 2021 to sing Così fan tutte is a real dream come true for me.’

What can you tell us about Guglielmo, the character you’re playing in Così?

‘I am very excited to explore the role of Guglielmo. These Mozart/Da Ponte characters have so many colours and endless ways to express them, it is always a huge joy to embark on a new journey. He is a sure, fairly hot-headed young soldier with a certain charm about him. His music is elegant, yet fiery and that really comes out in his character.’

Do you have a favourite moment from Così  that you’re looking forward to performing at Glyndebourne?

‘One of my favourite moments in the opera is the duet between Guglielmo and Dorabella, ‘Il core vi dono.’ The music is so seductive and yet very pure. Another favourite is the short but sweet ‘Secondate, aurette amiche’ with Ferrando and Guglielmo. A real delight to listen to.’

Get a taster of Così fan tutte – last autumn Huw performed ‘Donne mie, la fate a tanti’ from the opera as part of our Organ Room Sessions series:

What other projects are you working on in 2021?

‘This year I was very lucky to be able to make my role debut as Pelléas in Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy in Rouen. We managed to make a film and a radio broadcast but alas had no audience.

In March, I will hopefully be singing the St John Passion by Bach in Lisbon, which I am very excited about. Bach after Debussy seems like a balsam for the soul. After this, I will be in Munich at the Bayerische Staatsoper for Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos. Harlekin is a role I love and really enjoy singing. Then I will come home and sing this glorious production of Così fan tutte at Glyndebourne.’

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We’re passionate about supporting the next generation of singers, instrumentalists and composers. Spotting and developing burgeoning talent has historically been an integral aim of our work, and remains a focus today.

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Image credits: Huw Montague Rendall performing at our Jerwood Young Artists concert, summer 2020, photo by James Bellorini | Huw Montague Rendall as Papageno in The Magic Flute, autumn 2020, photo by Bill Cooper | Huw Montague Rendall as Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Festival 2016, photo by Bill Cooper

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