Youth Opera Premiere 2020

We are delighted to be co-commissioning, with Opera North, a new opera to be performed by our Youth Opera Company in July 2020. 

This new work, based on Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant, will be written by John Barber (composer) and Jessica Duchen (librettist). The Garsington Opera Youth Company, which consists of 80 young people aged 9-21 from the local area, will be joined by two professional soloists playing the Giant and a newly conceived character, The Linnet. Solo roles will also be given to members of the Youth Company, including the girl who befriends the Giant. Garsington's Creative Director of Learning & Participation, Karen Gillingham, will direct, with Suzi Zumpe as vocal director and Ruth Paton as designer. 

This setting of the story shows two worlds, inside and outside the magic garden, separated by a large wall. Life is different on either side of the wall and the Giant doesn't want to share his garden with anyone. During an endless winter when the children have nowhere to go, the story shows the plight of both the Giant and the children as they try to find a place where the wall no longer needs to exist. 

The world premiere performance takes place on the main stage at Wormsley on Friday 31 July 2020

Open auditions will be held on Saturday 18 January 2020. To register your interest, please email