Two unrelated items of training news - both positive developments - have just reached me.
First comes the announcement that London based Corona Theatre School is due to relaunch in September 2012 from its new home in Hampton, Middlesex. It’s a full-time school at which 11-16 year olds will get a complete education with strong emphasis on the performing arts.
In the past CTS trained people such as Dennis Waterman, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Ray Winstone, but in recent years the recession has driven it into the doldrums and near closure.
Now it has “a generous grant from a private investor” and a new “alliance” with International Collective (INC), parent company to the commercial dance agency, Dancers Inc.
INC Director, Christopher Manoe, has promised that the reborn school will have a redesigned timetable, logo and school uniform and be relevant to today’s industry. Phone 0208 941 2659 or email email@example.com if you want more details about audition arrangements etc.
Second, I learn that in August Co-Opera Co is presenting two operas, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, at the John McIntosh Theatre of the London Oratory School. On tour later in the year, the company will also revive its successful production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. All three operas will be sung in English.
From a training point of view this is interesting because Co-Opera Co is an unusual opera company. Its raison d’être is to help singers earn while they learn. By providing teaching programmes led by those who have “been there and done that” the company is able to offer advice on skills, technique and improvement as well as performance opportunities.
Soprano Kate Flowers and lighting designer Paul Need founded Co-Opera Co in 2009 to promote the welfare of professional opera singers. They realised that the career paths of young singers entering the operatic profession are hampered by the lack of small-scale, prestigious companies with which to work.
It is now much harder for recently graduated singers to work alongside seasoned professionals in top-class productions - yet the gaining of such experience is vital for their development.
Co-Opera Co is entirely self-funded and run by a group of over fifty eminent professionals, from every area of opera, who passionately feel the need to pass on their expertise to the next generation. Co-Opera Co is about singers helping singers and musicians helping musicians.
Leading up to Co-Opera Co’s summer season and UK tour in the autumn is a comprehensive training programme, Connections, in which participants work on every aspect of opera.