Our permanent team comprises our Artistic Directors, Vocal Coach and Répétiteur. In each production, we are joined by freelance coaches to meet the needs of the opera performed.
Artistic Directors: Caroline Coetzee and Alastair Chilvers
CYO’s joint Artistic Directors are responsible for the artistic direction and strategy of CYO and the overarching development of CYO activities. This includes developing new programmes of activity with schools and other partners, and key decisions about repertoire.
Caroline Coetzee, Co-Artistic Director; Staging Lead
CYO has been Caroline’s passion since 2011. As well as her strategic responsibilities, Caroline leads on the staging elements programme of work for children, teenagers and young adults. This includes the conceptualisation and delivery of dramatic and production elements, and the recruitment and management of freelance coaches and volunteers. Alongside directing productions, she loves translating and adapting libretti to suit the requirements of youth opera performance.
Caroline studied theatre, singing and musicology at the Stellenbosch Conservatoire. Before starting CYO, she worked in opera and youth theatre in South Africa, Germany and the UK.
She delights in bringing her love of the arts to young people and new audiences.
Alastair Chilvers, Co-Artistic Director; Music Lead
Alastair gained his first opera conducting experience as a student with CYO when he conducted The Magic Flute in 2013. As well as his strategic responsibilities he leads on the musical direction, conceptualisation and delivery of all productions and the recruitment of the musical team for each project.
Alastair was the Lucille Graham Opera Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, where he received a Master’s with distinction in piano accompaniment studying with Michael Dussek. He was a member of the acclaimed Academy Song Circle. As a repetiteur Alastair participated in the Solti Accademia Peretti Masterclasses in Venice, where he worked with Richard Bonynge. He was a 2017 Iford New Generation Artist and Assistant Conductor for West Green House Opera’s 2016 production of La traviata. He is a Samling Artist. Previously, he read Music at Queens’ College, Cambridge where he was Assistant Conductor for Cambridge University Music Society and received the University Instrumental Award for Chamber Music in 2011 and 2012.
In addition to his work with CYO, Alastair is Musical Director for W11 Opera. He tutors at Saffron Centre for Young Musicians while teaching piano for a number of schools.
CYO works with freelancers who are recruited based on the needs of each project or activity. Within this, the following roles are needed on a more permanent basis and Julia and Marion are core members of the CYO team.
Julia Caddick, Vocal Coach
Julia is one of Cambridge’s foremost singing teachers and CYO’s vocal coach since 2011. Her aim is to give all singers a solid technique from which to improve their sound and enjoy their singing. Julia loves to enable each singer to discover their own individual voice.
Julia Caddick teaches classical singing up to Conservatoire entry level using CVT (Classical Voice Training) and Bel Canto, and Musical Theatre singing up to professional level (Estill).
While Julia’s main focus is providing individual coaching to soloists, she works with all singers. She is dedicated to ensuring that each singer, whether soloist or chorus develops in a manner appropriate to their age and ability, while learning to perform in the style appropriate to the work in hand.
Above all, Julia wants every singer she works with, to enjoy their singing in the sure knowledge that they are developing a healthy singing technique that will keep them singing for years to come.
Marion Dall Caldwell, Répétiteur | Workshop development
Marion has a degree in Piano Performance from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and a master’s degree in performance, specialising in Piano Accompaniment, from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her professional experience includes répétiteur work for Opera Africa in South Africa, and she has worked as a professional accompanist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is highly respected for her many years of experience working with children and young people as a teacher and accompanist.
Marion worked on several CYO productions as an ad hoc répétiteur before joining the core team in 2019 for Hansel and Gretel. Her role here included not just rehearsing with singers, but also the training of a young pianist in rehearsal best practice.
In 2020, Marion expanded her portfolio, working very successfully as a mentor with younger participants in our 2020 Digital Opera Making Workshops. She found a new outlet for her creativity and teaching talent and the 11 – 13 year olds she worked with produced outstanding and original work