New work

2018: Double bill

We’re thrilled to announce our new programme for performances in March 2018. Though set far apart in time and space, the operas we’ve chosen both tell stories of people escaping from monsters – literal and human – and how love and goodness triumph over evil.

Auditions will take place on 12 and 17 September. You can sign up to audition, join the chorus, or join the production team here. Singers, please read the information below to help you decide about auditioning.

 

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The Hiding Tree

Edward Barnes

We’ll be mounting UK and European première of this exciting opera, specially written to be performed by young people.

The Hiding Tree tells the story of a Monster who decimates an island and two brave sisters who resist and ultimate defeat it, through the power of their love for each other.

We’re looking for singers age 15+ as well as a talented actor to be our narrator.

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The Little Sweep

Benjamin Britten

The monsters in the Little Sweep are human: the dreadful sweeps who are happy to send small children into terrible danger for profit and the bullying housekeeper who employs them.

This much-loved piece shows how a group of children, aided by their young governess, rescue the Little Sweep. Their kindness and ingenuity help him escape from a horrible fate.

We’re looking for singers aged 11 – 15 to take the roles of the children and to sing in the chorus. There are also roles for solo singers age 15+ to play the adults.

We’re also planning on involving local choirs, families and friends making this a wonderful, community project!

Taking part and auditions

To register for auditions or as part of the chorus for the Little Sweep (not auditioned), please sign up here. Please read the descriptions below to help you decide what to do.

Auditions will take place on 12 and 17 September.

Chorus

Entry to the chorus of Little Sweep is open to everybody. We’re looking for singers from aged 11 – 15. No audition necessary. Just sign up.

Auditioned Roles

The Hiding Tree

The Hiding Tree has only four roles, the Narrator, Little Sister, Big Sister and the Monster, but there’s a twist. The Monster is played by a group of singers (SATB). This is probably the most interesting and unusual role we’ve ever cast.

All roles will be auditioned:

  • Narrator: an expressive story-teller / actor. This is not a singing role, but you will need strong, instinctive musical skills. Music reader preferred.
  • Little Sister: soprano – Grade 8+
  • Big Sister: mezzo soprano – Grade 8+
  • Both sisters are lyrical roles and demand expressive acting skills
  • Monster: SATB – around 12 singers up for a challenge and a lot of fun

The Little Sweep

Children’s Roles – age 11 – 15

  • Sam – the Little Sweep: treble
  • Juliet Brooke: soprano – the oldest of the children, Juliet has a lovely solo aria
  • Johnny, Tina, Gay, Sophie and Hugh: these roles carry the opera with lots of solo and ensemble singing and energetic acting

‘Adult’ Roles – age 15+

  • Black Bob and Clem, the sweep master and his sidekick: bass and tenor – excellent, villainous character roles
  • Mrs Baggott, the housekeeper: contralto – another character role for a strong singer with confident acting skills
  • Rowan, the governess: soprano – a beautiful, lyrical role for an accomplished singer and actor
  • Tom and Alfred, coachman and gardener: bass and tenor – smaller character roles; may double as Black Bob and Clem