Glyndebourne’s commitment to education and community takes centre stage in March 2010 with four performances of Knight Crew, a new commission by the festival’s first composer-in-residence Julian Philips. Billed as the largest outreach project in Glyndebourne’s history, the work is based on the novel by Nicky Singer, which places the legend of King Arthur in a contemporary urban setting. The production features six professional singers alongside 60 young performers and a “Mothers Chorus” of local adults, accompanied by an ensemble of professional and young instrumentalists.
The project will also be the subject of a BBC 2 documentary - Gareth goes to Glyndebourne - following The Choir’s Gareth Malone as he takes on the role of chorus master of his first opera. The documentary will chart Knight Crew’s progress from its early rehearsal stages through to the performances, taking place from March 3-6.
In preparation for the Knight Crew auditions 20 skills workshops, held through Glyndebourne’s Round Table initiative, have involved more than 450 young people with little performance experience. These youngsters will join members of Glyndebourne’s Youth Opera Group at the final auditions.
Since its foundation in 1986 Glyndebourne Education has presented a number of innovative productions, including Misper (1997/98), Zoë (2000), School for Lovers/Cosi Hip H’Opera (2006) and The Rim of The World (2009).
(Photo: Students from Tideway School in Newhaven, East Sussex during a Knight Crew workshop held during October © Glyndebourne)