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Opportunity for young instruments to go on tour with the Opera North Youth Company

8th March 2017

In June/July 2017, the Opera North Youth Company will be working on a one act opera by Steven Deazley, entitled Dr Ferret’s Bad Medicine Roadshow; performances are planned at the Buxton Fringe Festival and the newly opened Middleton Hall as part of Hull, City of Culture 2017. There may be a third performance at the Tête à Tête Opera Festival at The Place in London.

We are looking for about 15 talented young instrumentalists aged 14 to 19 to join this exciting project as the Opera North Youth Orchestra. Coached by highly experienced tutors and members of the Orchestra of Opera North, you will have the chance to be part of a youth opera production directed, conducted and designed by professionals whilst developing further ensemble skills under professional leadership.

About the piece– Beware Dr Ferret and his gang! The doctor and his Sweetheart Singers are out to find out just how mischievous today’s children really are, as they sort the good eggs from the bad. Dr Ferret’s Bad Medicine Roadshow was commissioned by the Scottish Opera a couple of years ago. Inspired by Hilaire Belloc’s classic Cautionary tales, Dr Ferret tells the curious stories of Matilda, whose lies ignited a terrible fire, Henry King who ate too much string, and George, a little boy who causes lot of trouble…

About our musical director – Timothy Burke is emerging as an exciting talent amongst the younger generation of conductors. He read Music at Oxford before training as a repetiteur at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He went on to join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in 2006, and from 2008 until 2013 was Chorus Master at Opera North, where he worked with conductors including Sir Richard Armstrong, Richard Farnes and David Parry. A passionate believer in the importance of new writing, he has, since 2013, been the Music Director at Tête à Tête, producer of the world’s largest festival of new opera.

About our orchestra leader – Born in Leeds, Tom Greed is a London based freelance violinist. He enjoys a varied musical career in orchestral performing, chamber music and education work. Hailing from a highly musical family, he first took up the violin at the age of 6 with his father, David Greed (leader of the Orchestra of Opera North). He has since studied the instrument in London with Devorina Gamalova, and with Andrew Sherwood. Since December 2014 Tom has been a regular extra player with the Orchestra of Opera North, with whom he performed in the UK tour of Jonathan Dove’s chamber opera Swanhunter in 2015 and Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle in 2016. He has also performed with other professional orchestras including Sinfonia Viva, Manchester Concert Orchestra, the Heritage Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra, and Mozart Festival Orchestra. An enthusiastic teacher and committed to youth music making, Tom currently works as a violin tutor for Yorkshire Young Musicians in Leeds.

When and where do rehearsals and performances take place?
– Saturday and evening rehearsals in Leeds on the following dates: o Saturday 24 June o Saturday 1 July o Tuesday 4 July o Saturday 8 July o Wednesday 12 July – Dress rehearsal in Leeds on 15 July – 1st performance in Buxton on Sunday 16 July – 2nd performance in Hull on Saturday 22 July – 3rd performance in London with overnight stay between Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 July
Who is the Opera North Youth Orchestra open to?
We are looking for talented young musicians aged 14-19 who are at around grade 8 standard on the following instruments:
STRING: violin, viola, cello, double bass WIND: piccolo, clarinet, bassoon BRASS: horn, trumpet PERCUSSION: timpani, percussion
How much does it cost?
On top of the £50 membership fee to join the Opera North Youth Company, we will ask for a contribution of £150 (£100 if the London performance doesn’t take place), which will help us cover travel and accommodation costs.

We don’t want the cost to be a barrier for young people to be involved in this project and may be able to offer financial assistance if required.
How do I register?
As they are limited places available in each section of the orchestra, we would like to ask every applicant to send a 2-3 minutes recording/video of them playing (this doesn’t need to be good quality, you can simply record yourself with your phone) to along with the following information by Friday 24 March 2017:
– Young person’s name – Date of birth – Instrument – Grade or equivalent – Other orchestra(s) you play with or experience of playing in an ensemble – Parent’s name – Address – Email address – Phone number
Who can I contact for more information?
For more information about this project, please email or phone Marie Lemaire, Opera North Youth Ensembles Manager, on 0113 2233557.