Performers, parents and staff involved in the Blackheath Halls Opera for All programme are celebrating after seven of its young singers from the Royal Greenwich and Blackheath Halls Youth Choir were selected to join the illustrious Royal Opera House’s Youth Opera Company this year.
The Blackheath Halls singers (aged 9-13) were invited by the ROH Youth Opera Company to audition and have been offered a place in its 50-strong ranks. They will now have the opportunity to perform regularly on one of the world’s most famous stages.
Six of the seven are members of the Royal Greenwich and Blackheath Halls Youth Choir, while a seventh was an impressive chorus member in this year’s Blackheath Halls Children’s Opera, Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.
Rose Ballantyne, Blackheath Halls Community Engagement Manager, says- “We’re ecstatic to see our young singers discover their incredible talent, flourish, and earn this opportunity. The Royal Opera House recruits nationwide, and it’s just brilliant that 14 per cent of this company are now young South East London residents who have grown their talent with us at Blackheath Halls.”
Leia, Stash and Zarofina, Matilda, Aiste, Arthur and Annabella have accepted their places with the Royal Opera House.
In 2016, two Blackheath Halls’ singers, Jude and Elena were also offered places with the ROH Youth Opera Company. Jude says- ‘What was just an interest has now become a passion for me!’
Blackheath Halls Opera for All programme has been running since 2007. Since then the programme has presented 73 performances of 19 different operas involving 2870 performers. At the heart of the programme is the 50 strong Royal Greenwich and Blackheath Halls Youth Choir. Choir members aged 8 -14 are selected by their teachers for their exceptional singing talent. The choir has been rehearsing weekly since 2015 and has presented performances in prestigious locations across London.
The Royal Opera House holds annual auditions for its Youth Opera Company through invite only, connecting with some 60 ‘music hubs’ or other key partner organisations, including Blackheath Halls. This enables them to work with children who have outstanding potential and an established interest in singing through existing projects, but who might not necessarily have access to ongoing provision at an advanced level.
As well as their own productions, the ROH Youth Opera Company take part in productions with The Royal Opera in front of audiences more than 2,000 strong.