Last week, Opera North welcomed students from the National Opera Studio to an intensive week of training led by internationally acclaimed conductor, Jac van Steen, and Scottish director, actor and playwright, Giles Havergal.
Culminating in a semi-staged professional performance in the Howard Assembly Room on Friday 16 May, the week-long residency provided students with the opportunity to work and perform alongside members of the Orchestra of Opera North in a programme featuring extracts from some of Britten’s much loved operas including Albert Herring, The Rape of Lucretia and The Turn of the Screw.
During their residency, students were offered rigorous musical training with Jac van Steen, set to conduct Opera North’s double-bill Gianni Schicchi and La vida breve (2014-2015 Season) and whose work with the Company includes Peter Grimes (2013) and several appearances with the Orchestra of Opera North. Giles Havergal, who recently directed Opera North’s production of Albert Herring (2013) and The Merry Widow (2010/2011), returned to present specially tailored workshops for students to help refine their movement, acting and overall artistic skills.
Opera North, England’s national opera company based in Leeds, and National Opera Studio’spartnership is designed to develop and support gifted young singers as they transition from academia to a professional career in opera.
In February 2013, the Leverhulme Trust awarded funding to Opera North to create a series of annual opera residencies for students of the National Opera Studio and the Royal Northern College of Music. The funding is used to support the bursary costs for young singers and repetiteurs during residencies at Opera North.
The National Opera Studio residency is supported by a grant for Arts Scholarships from the Leverhulme Trust.
Photo credit: Malcom Johnson