75 amateur singers from across Sussex will appear at the world famous Glyndebourne opera house in March. The group form the community chorus in the world premiere of a new opera about love, loss and divided lands called Agreed.
The singers range in age from 12 – 71 and come from across Sussex. The younger participants are members of Glyndebourne Youth Opera (GYO) which provides local young people with performance opportunities and engaging opera workshops. A number of the adults in the chorus took part in GYO as teenagers.
Ross Page, 30, from Uckfield first performed at Glyndebourne in 1997 in the youth opera, Misper. He said: ‘Due to work commitments I had placed opera on the back burner and wasn’t pursuing my passion till receiving an email regarding open auditions for Agreed. It is fantastic to be back at Glyndebourne and working with a great team that are passionate and want our input into creating this new opera.’
The opera has a multi-genre score by British composer Howard Moody that includes elements of classical, world and jazz music. It is directed by Simon Iorio, who previously collaborated with Moody on another community opera project, PUSH, commissioned by Battle Festival for the ROOT 1066 International Festival.
The community chorus play an active, shaping role in the drama of the opera. Their music is woven together and led by five professional singers, and musicians from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Composer and conductor, Howard Moody, said: ‘Agreed is a story of division, but it will be a process that brings so many people together. With an intergenerational cast and chorus, it is fantastic to hear and see the written score coming to life in all the many dimensions that an opera production offers.’
Glyndebourne has a well-established reputation for delivering pioneering work with and for local people. Since 1990 Glyndebourne has regularly commissioned large-scale operas for the community and young people to perform in. The most recent of these, 2016’s Nothing, was shortlisted in the opera category of the 2017 South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
Agreed is performed at Glyndebourne on 1, 2 and 3 March 2019. Booking at glyndebourne.com/agreed