Meet our 2019-20 Junior Performers

Throughout the year our Junior Performers received specialist training in disciplines including voice, language, music, drama and movement.

Meet our Junior Performers for 2019-20

Between September 2019 and July 2020 our 12 Glyndebourne Junior Performers will receive specialist training in disciplines including voice, language, music, drama and movement. They will also have the opportunity to attend rehearsals and to meet singers involved in Glyndebourne Tour and Festival productions to gain an insight into the world of professional opera singers.

CARMEN GODDARD – Soprano

Carmen’s passion for performing began with dance. From the age of three, she studied ballet, tap and modern jazz and performed in ballets such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland.

Her love of singing came later through singing with a Gospel choir and performing in many settings unfamiliar to a ballet dancer such as festivals, churches and old peoples homes. From there, she took singing lessons and gained the main roles of Frenchie in Grease and Jennyanydots in Cats in her school musicals. 

Carmen auditioned for Agreed at Glyndebourne and was transfixed by opera as an art form and by the whole experience in general. She currently studies music, drama and philosophy A levels as well as singing at grade 8 and teaching ballet and after a gap year, hopes to be accepted for a BA in Musical Theatre at a great training school.

EITHNE YATES-KNEEN – SOPRANo

Eithne’s love of singing and performance has been part of her life since she was 12. Through her school, she has had many opportunities as a choral singer including singing Rutter’s Requiem in St John’s Smith Square in London and evensong in St Paul’s Cathedral. To further develop her skills as a choral singer, Eithne has also taken part in the Rodolfus Foundation Summer Course. 

Eithne enjoys spreading a love for singing in her local community, most recently she performed with the children from her old primary school as a part of their Christmas Carol Service. 

Eithne hopes to gain invaluable skills and advice through the Junior Performers programme which she hopes will help her later in life as she continues to pursue a career in performance.

EMILY WARD – MEZZO-SOPRANO

Emily states that she could not imagine her life without singing, something which her mum says she started pretty much as soon as she could talk!

Emily has been in various choirs since she was 6. She has also been involved in many musical productions and performances and has been successful in taking lead roles within some of those performances.  

Emily has been part of two British Youth Music Theatre courses and feels incredibly lucky with the opportunities that she gets at school, for which she thanks her Director of Music, as these opportunities increase all of the time and in ever varying ways. 

Emily is excited about the experience she will gain as part of the Junior Performers and looks forward to being exposed to an industry that she dreams to be part of.

HANNA SKODA – MEZZO-SOPRANO

Hanna has always loved to sing, ever since she was little. She has sung, danced and acted in Stagecoach Brighton for 6 years and was a soloist several times in Stagecoach Voices. Hanna has also been a singer in a Starfish band in Lewes, and has also sung in Brighton Festival Youth Choir for 2 and a half years. 

Hanna has participated in several workshops with Glyndebourne and has been involved in Glyndebourne productions A Garden Dream and La Damnation de Faust. Being involved in these productions has driven Hanna’s ambition of one day being an opera singer. 

Hanna is currently preparing for her GCSE exams this year, but still has time to sing in the Hurst Choir and the Hurst Musical Les Misérables. She also plays piano, for which she is now grade 5, the ukulele and is preparing for her grade 8 singing exam.

HARI SHARMA – BARITONE/BASs

Hari started watching opera as a young child, his first being the new production of Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He has felt lucky to watch dozens of operas since which have been an inspiration. 

 Hari has sung in chapel choirs at school and evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral. He has also sung solo pieces at school and other events in English, German and Italian, including singing the aria O Isis und Osiris from Mozart’s Die Zauberflote at a concert performance when he was 13.  Most recently, Hari sung a solo and duet at the East Sussex Christmas Big Sing at venues in Hastings and Eastbourne.

 Hari has developed a keen interest in classical music and is studying music for GCSE.  He has also attended various Glyndebourne Youth Opera workshops including Developing The Male Voice, Performance Parkour and Stage Fighting.

 Hari applied to join the Junior Performers programme in order to develop his voice, singing technique and dramatic performance with a view to possibly pursuing a professional singing career.  Hari currently has Grade 6 in singing and plays the piano and would like to learn to play the organ.

LOUIS EDWARDS-MUNRO – BARITONE/BASS

Louis’ journey into opera began at the age of ten, when he took part in the Glyndebourne Youth Opera production Till the summer comes again (2012). Since then, he has performed in numerous other Glyndebourne projects including Belongings (2017) and Agreed (2019)

Louis is currently studying for his A levels as a music scholar at his school, where he is a member of the Chapel Choir and Schola Cantorum. In addition to singing, Louis also plays the violin – gaining a distinction in his grade eight two years ago – and enjoys playing with both Brighton Youth Orchestra and the Brighton Youth Orchestra String Ensemble. 

He was inspired to apply for the Junior Performers after taking part in Glyndebourne Youth Opera workshops with additional encouragement from his teacher. Since being accepted as a Junior Performer, Louis is considering a career in opera or music theatre, after completing a degree at university.

JEMIMA BYRNE – SOPRANO

Jemima started singing lessons when she was in her final year of primary school, after being inspired by seeing operas and operettas on the television. Encouraged by her teacher, Jemima performed solos in school events, festivals, and student concerts, and joined Brighton Festival Youth Choir as well as being in BHMA Youth Choir. 

Jemima has attended many Glyndebourne Youth Opera Workshops and in 2019 was in the youth chorus in Agreed. As well as taking part in Glyndebourne Junior Performers, Jemima continues to sing with BFYC and perform as a soloist, with recent performances in the Brighton Dome with the Covent Garden Sinfonia in The Snowman, and in The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Sussex Victorian Music Hall. 

Jemima applied to Glyndebourne Junior Performers as an opportunity to receive further training and insights in all of the disciplines that combine to create an operatic performance, and to explore the realities of pursuing singing as a career.

KSENIA REIMCHEN – SOPRANO

Ksenia started having singing lessons from age 9. She is in her last year of school and is taking English, Music, German and Russian for A Levels. Being trilingual (English, Russian and German) has helped her immensely when learning music in another language.

Ksenia has been involved with Glyndebourne Youth Opera for 4 years, singing in the youth chorus in Belongings, Agreed and the Glyndebourne Christmas Concert, as well as attending many other workshops. Her love for opera started after coming to see operas at Glyndebourne from a very young age. 

She studied at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama for three years with a first study cello and second study piano then moved on to develop her strong passion for singing, after completing her Grade 8 ABRSM with a distinction. She has been part of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain since 2013, starting in Girls Choir then moving up to Training Choir. She’s also attended many music masterclasses abroad, such as in Austria and Croatia.

Ksenia has a strong passion for songwriting which she discovered when she was 13 and now she is an aspiring singer/songwriter, hoping to release some music in the following year. After school, Ksenia hopes to study music at university.

LAURA CROOKS – SOPRANO

Laura began formal singing lessons at the age of 8, where she was a regular performer in local music festivals. Laura is a music scholar at her school, where she sings with Schola Cantorum, the Chapel Choir and Girls’ Choir. During her school years, she has gone on several music tours with the school, giving a wonderful opportunity to perform in Cathedrals and other concert venues in several European cities as well as within the UK. Laura’s most recent performance was singing the John Rutter Requiem at St John’s Smiths Square, where she sang the Pie Jesu soprano solo.

Recently, Laura has attained her ABRSM Grade 8 Singing with Distinction and gained Grade 8 in Trombone and Piano with Distinction. In addition to singing, she plays in the school’s Orchestra, Jazz Band and Brass Ensemble and gives regular solo performances. Previously, she was a member of the National Children’s Orchestra and was also a member of the National Youth Girls’ Choir and has now been accepted into the National Youth Training Choir.

ROBBIE HUGHES – BARTIONE/BASS

Robbie has been a member of Glyndebourne Youth Opera since he was old enough to join. He has enjoyed serenading picnickers in Lewis Murphy’s A Garden Dream and playing a reluctant WW2 evacuee in Belongings on the main stage. At school, Robbie was Seymour in A Little Shop of Horrors.

Robbie plays viola in Brighton Youth Orchestra and spends two weeks each year playing violin/viola on the prestigious Pro Corda chamber music courses in Suffolk. He is also a member of Lewes Drama Collective and has been cast in major roles including Jason in Jason and the Argonauts and Lord Asriel in both parts of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Robbie will be co-directing their next production. 

Robbie’s love of music, drama, language and movement in opera drove him to apply to be a Junior Performer, in order to discover his baritone voice. He is hoping to develop as a singer and stage actor and learn much more about opera and performance along the way. 

ROSINA WHITE BELCHERE – MEZZO-SOPRANO

Rosina began singing lessons around two years ago, but has played the cello and piano for far longer. Prior to becoming a Junior Performer, Rosina was shortlisted for the Voice Kids in 2017. Since starting singing lessons, she has found a passion for musical theatre and has been on two British Youth Musical Theatre courses and took part in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd in a school production as the part of Beadle.

Rosina has taken grade 6 and 7 levels in musical theatre exams, achieving 98% in her grade 7. She loves to write her own songs with the piano and guitar, and is able to record them at her school recording studio. Having been named after one of the characters in The Barber of Seville, singing has always been of interest to Rosina and she has seen a wide range of Glyndebourne operas including Nothing and Agreed.

Rosina hopes to use this brilliant opportunity to learn and understand more about the music industry as well as improve her skills as a singer and actress in Glyndebourne’s unique and fascinating atmosphere.

THEA ADAMS – SOPRANO

Thea started singing and drama lessons at the age of seven and has taken part in numerous school plays and concerts and has competed in musical festivals. Every year, Thea takes part in her school’s Cabaret show to more than 1,000 people and is currently studying for ABRSM Grade 7 in singing and flute and LAMDA Grade 7.

Watching Cendrillon at Glyndebourne during the 2018 Tour and Agreed in 2019 created an interest in opera for Thea, who was then selected to sing in the children’s chorus of La Damnation De Faust in the 2019 Festival and in the 2019 Glyndebourne Christmas Concert.

As a Junior Performer, Thea is excited to have the chance to explore her voice with the Glyndebourne coaches, trying new techniques, learning more about the drama and movement involved in opera and, of course, watch more inspirational performances on stage.


Image credit: James Bellorini

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