City Guildhall Youth Opera

Youth Opera Company

Garsington Opera is working in partnership with The Lord Mayor’s Appeal on an opera project with 250 young people aged from 11 to 18 from six London schools.

Led by a professional creative team from Garsington Opera and inspired by Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the students will devise their own words, compose songs, sing repertoire from the opera and design the set and costumes. This culminates in a performance fusing the genres of rap, YouTube and opera with the young people at the heart of the piece and will take place to an invited audience on the afternoon of Tuesday 16 July 2019 at the Old Library in the Guildhall, City of London.

This project is part of an extensive programme of educational and charitable activities taking place during the office of Alderman Peter Estlin as Lord Mayor of the City of London. It will precede a fundraising dinner A Night at the Opera, an abridged performance of Don Giovanni given by the Alvarez Young Artists of Garsington Opera, raising funds for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal that evening. Booking is now open to attend this memorable event at the Guildhall and to support the charities supported by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

Many of the students involved in the outreach project have little experience of music and drama, while others are studying them at school. Some art and design students will be involved backstage, in design, exhibition and stage management.

The professional roles will be performed by Robert Gildon (baritone), Samantha Crawford (soprano), and MC Angel, (rapper & poet). They will be joined by an ensemble of 3 players from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in an arrangement written and conducted by Omar Shahryar (music director) with Karen Gillingham (director), Jamie Wright (vocal animateur - part of the Spitalfields Music Creative Leadership Programme supported by Help Musicians UK’s National Grants Programme) and Bernadette Roberts (designer).

The project will be documented in a short film created by the charity Positive Action through Creativity.

The schools taking part are: City of London Academy - Highbury Grove, Drapers’ Academy, Hammersmith Academy, Prendergast School, Prendergast Ladywell School, Westminster City School.

Garsington Opera’s Learning & Participation Programme aims to enrich people’s lives through opera sharing the passion and love of opera with a wider audience. A bold and ambitious participatory programme helps to engage with a diverse community, providing access to Garsington’s high quality opera and challenging perceived barriers to cultural engagement. Opera is used as a medium to improve emotional wellbeing and to champion the vital element of musical engagement. Recent performances include the world premiere of Silver Birch (2017), covered by BBC Arts, and a new production of Eliza and the Swans (2018) by the Youth Opera Company.

The project is supported by the City of London Corporation.