News & features

Residencies 2022 round-up

We take a look at the host of activities that took place during our Tour Residencies programme this year

Our Tour brings opera around the country
But our relationship with these communities goes deeper; Glyndebourne is resident in each Tour location throughout the year, making opera and music with and for a diverse range of local people.

These residencies culminate in a host of activities that take place alongside our mainstage Tour productions, a programme we call Resound.

We take a look at this year’s activities, and hear from some of those who took part…

Sing with the Glyndebourne Chorus

Photos: 1-5 Liverpool by Phil Tragan, 6-9 Canterbury by Steve Gregson

This year we’ve been working with schools in the Canterbury and Liverpool area to perform music from and inspired by Mozart’s Requiem.

At a series of workshops, 220 students aged 7 to 12 from six schools worked with composer Howard Moody, singers Jennifer Witton and Carrie-Ann Williams and choral scholars from Canterbury Cathedral to create their own ‘Requiem’, to complete Mozart’s famously unfinished work.

These workshops culminated in song sharing sessions, where the schools came together at Kent University and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral to sing their pieces with the Glyndebourne Chorus and Tour Orchestra.

The schools that took part in the project were: St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Huyton, and St Lewis’ Catholic Primary School, Croft, Pilgrims’ Way Primary School, Aylesham Primary School, Parkside Community Primary School and Dover Grammar School for Girls.

‘I really, really, really enjoyed it and I was really happy, plus it was the best thing ever. I really want to thank you because it was incredible. I was nervous at first and then I wasn’t’ – student from Parkside Community Primary School, Canterbury

‘We’ve absolutely loved the whole project… One of the most memorable things for me is the children’s response to the music. The children had never heard music like it and jaws were literally dropping’ – Mark, teacher at St Lewis’ Catholic Primary

‘It’s blown my mind listening to the quality of what the children have produced. The children were singing Mozart on the bus this morning, I don’t think many schools can say that! We’ve just had the best time and I’m so grateful for this opportunity’ – Louise, teacher at St Lewis’ Catholic Primary

Back at Glyndebourne there were more opportunities to sing with the Chorus. Glyndebourne and Create Music were delighted to welcome local schools from the East Sussex and Brighton area for the One Voice Festival of Singing. The school groups joined the Glyndebourne Chorus to share festive songs and music with friends and families in the audience.

And that wasn’t all – the before our Glyndebourne performance of Mozart’s Requiem, the audience had the opportunity to fully immerse themself in the piece at our Mozart Masterclass with the Chorus.

‘The masterclass was a brilliant experience’ says Paul Mckeown, who took part in the session. ‘I was sitting with the basses in front of a pair of chorus members. Wow! Those boys can sing. When we were doing the dies irae it was so exciting l thought I would whoop at the end of the piece.’

One Voice and Masterclass photos by Richard Hubert Smith.


Good Company

Photos: 1-3 Norwich by Alex Rimell, 2-6 Liverpool by Jo Wettern

Good Company is our musical programme for people living with dementia in care homes and communities near Glyndebourne and our Tour venues.

The programme provides a welcoming, relaxed space where people can experience a range of different musical activities with a small ensemble from the Glyndebourne orchestra and chorus. They perform bits of operatic repertoire, and create improvised pieces, where people can join in and contribute to the music, both as part of the whole group, and also on a smaller scale.

Percussionist Adrian Bending told us about a moment that stayed with him from the Norwich session – ‘One of the participants brought his guitar and sang a song that he had written for his wife on their wedding day, it was word and note perfect’. Talking about the impact of the project he says ‘We’re not experts in dementia, but we’re experts in communicating emotions and making connections with people, and that’s what these sessions are about. Everyone connects over great music.’

At Meadow Court Care Home in Liverpool the group sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ together, a song which has become inseparable from the city and Liverpool FC. Everyone enjoyed it, even the Everton supporters! ‘This is the best thing we’ve had here – bloody great!’ said Ray, a resident.

Soprano Jackie Parker from our chorus said ‘the engagement we see in the sessions is truly inspiring to me but the Liverpool meeting was particularly touching. Eyes lit up and arms were raised as we sang this wonderful anthem. I will never, never forget this.’ You can enjoy this lovely moment in the video below.

Jo Wettern, Learning & Education Project Manager, told us about a moving moment during one of the sessions – ‘There was one resident in the care home who sat at the back and had completely withdrawn from the session, it turns out she was deaf and found it very hard interacting in any kind of activity organised in the care home. I sat next to her and slowly introduced a variety of instruments and she slowly started showing more interest in joining in. She was thrilled using some of the percussion instruments as she could feel them and she was delighted to be able to hear the cello’s base line. At one point in the session she was given a conducting baton and was surrounded by the violin and clarinet players and she smiled the biggest smile I’d seen that day as she could not only hear some of the music but she could feel it too having the musicians so close to her. She was moved to tears by the end of this exercise and gave me a hug saying that she loved music and she missed hearing and feeling it.’


Pit Perfect recitals and workshops

Photo: James Bellorini

Pit Perfect is our development scheme for young professional instrumentalists, who join the Tour Orchestra, gaining their first professional operatic experience.

Young musicians on the Pit Perfect scheme and players from the Tour Orchestra were involved in a series of events including public recitals, concerts in schools and colleges, workshops and careers talks across out Tour locations.

‘It’s been an amazing introduction to operatic orchestral playing, and also to life as a member of an orchestra’ – Nick Budd, Pit Perfect participant

‘I was able to learn about their musical upbringings and their musical careers which I found so interesting and inspiring.’ – Lois Cocker, student at University of Kent. You can read more about Lois’s experience in this blog.


glass human

glass human is a new chamber opera exploring loneliness and connection, created by Samantha Fernando and Melanie Wilson. It was staged in Glyndebourne’s Jerwood Studio, before touring to intimate performance spaces in each of our Tour locations.

The piece includes a soundscape featuring the voices of real people reflecting on the experience of loneliness. Their testimonies were recorded by Melanie Wilson at a series of workshops in each of the towns and cities visited by the Glyndebourne Tour and involved mental health groups, young people, care home residents and others exploring first-hand experiences of loneliness.

‘It’s made me think I need to get out and see more opera. It’s given me an enthusiasm to get out there’ – audience member, Milton Keynes

‘Inspiring and memorable, with many new ideas to reflect on. … This is probably my highlight performance of the year’ – audience member, Milton Keynes


Partners

The Resound programme would not be possible without the support of our partners in each Tour location: Liverpool Empire Theatre, Milton Keynes Theatre, The Marlowe Theatre, and Norwich Theatre.

Sing with the Glyndebourne Chorus – The Liverpool event was produced in partnership with the Liverpool Empire Theatre Creative Learning Department (ATG) supported by the Empire Theatre (Merseyside) Trust LTD. The Canterbury event was produced by the L&E team in partnership with The Marlowe Theatre, University of Kent and Canterbury Cathedral.

You can find out more about our Learning & Engagement programme here

If you’d like to help support  Learning & Engagement programme, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact the Director of Development, Helen McCarthy at helen.mccarthy@glyndebourne.com or call +44 (0)1273 815032

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