Glyndebourne Education celebrates 30 years with a new opera about the meaning of life
If someone you knew declared that life had no meaning, how would you convince them it does? This is the premise of a new work created for performance by members of Glyndebourne Youth Opera alongside professional singers, the latest in a line of pioneering youth operas commissioned by the Education Department. Established in 1986 under the leadership of Katie Tearle with the aim of complementing Glyndebourne’s touring activities, the department has expanded over the years to deliver a year-round programme of work including special projects for particular groups, workshops and pre-performance talks and events. It has premiered work from 32 composers, representing a large percentage of Glyndebourne’s new commissions.
This year the company completes and celebrates 30 years of activity and the festivities begin with a commission from the successful partnership of composer David Bruce and librettist Glyn Maxwell based on an award-winning novel for young adults by Danish author Janne Teller. A group of teenagers asks the most difficult question of all and decides that each of the group must give up an object that means something to them. This begins with toys and clothes, but things quickly escalate as the classmates go to ever more extreme lengths to try to persuade their friend that there are things worth caring about.
Nothing by David Bruce and Glyn Maxwell, commissioned by Glyndebourne Education, will be performed on Glyndebourne’s main stage by Glyndebourne Youth Opera and professional singers. The premiere is on February 25; there will be further performances on February 26 and 27.