|Local School Children Full Of 'Good Intentions'
A new opera starring young people at the Riverside Theatre
W11 Opera For Young People has attracted over 80 local youngsters to its latest production. Good Intentions will play at the Riverside Studios this weekend (15/16 Dec). Singer Sophie Ellis Bextor who is now a patron, was once a member of the opera group, and several other alumni have gone on to find fame in the West End.
Chiswick teenager Jess Phillips (pictured on right) has never attended an opera but decided to become involved last year when a friend at her school, St. Paul's Girls, pursuaded her to come along. She plays two roles in this latest production, and has been rehearsing after school and at weekends.
"I always thought opera was something boring and not for me, but I couldn't believe how much fun it was. It's a big committment timewise but I've met so many people, and made so many friends through Opera W11. I'd really recommend it to young people", says the fifteen-year old who loves singing, but has not had any professional training.
Jess says it has made her think about going to see an opera someday but the W11 Opera is "not really traditional with long arias and high notes".
" It's not what young people think, it's more upbeat, the story moves faster and its about really relevant themes. For example this production has the theme of young people and temptation, so I play a schoolgirl and I also play a 'smoker' which is part of the temptation theme," says Jess.
Several young people from the Stamford Brook area are also involved and the majority of the 80-strong cast are from West London.
Written by Julian Philips, the first ever Composer-in-Residence at Glyndebourne, with a libretto by Simon Christmas, Philips was commissioned by W11 to write the score for what has been described as a " funny, poignant and modern Faustian tale."
The opera, set in a school, explores issues around being young in the modern world.
More recent W11 cast members include Celine Buckens (Emilie in Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse) and Jonathan Antoine (Runner-Up in Britain’s Got Talent 2012). W11 Opera has also commissioned composers who have had successful careers in the world of contemporary music such as George Fenton, Karl Jenkins, Cecilia McDowall and Julian Grant.
December 14, 2012