Noye’s Fludde wins best event at Leicestershire Tourism Awards

Friday, December 1, 2017

A production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde by Nevill Holt Opera and over 100 children from across the David Ross Education Trust, has won the Award for Best Event at the Leicestershire Tourism Awards 2017.

The judges praised the project for its ‘excellence, accessibility, impact and legacy’.

Performed by more than 100 children from schools across the David Ross Education Trust, as well as pupils from Rutland Music Education Hub and Oakham School, the four performances in July were the closing highlight of Nevill Holt Opera’s 2017 summer festival.

Throughout the duration of the project, Nevill Holt Opera (NHO) worked with over 1,000 children from Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, with workshops, auditions and rehearsals taking place across the David Ross Education Trust network.

The performances were staged outdoors in an original production directed by the Royal Opera House Director of Opera, Oliver Mears and conducted by NHO Artistic Director Nicholas Chalmers. Designs by Simon Holdsworth and choreography by Anna Morrisey completed the spectacular production, described by the media as ‘a …a resonant, entrancing production’ (Opera Magazine). The original production was created for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and performed in Belfast Zoo by Northern Ireland Opera, in partnership with the K T Wong Foundation.

Top professional artists worked closely with the 105 young performers during rehearsals at Nevill Holt, to deliver an excellent and exceptional experience of live music, opera and performance for the children. Players from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra led and coached the young instrumentalists, while professional opera and radio stars Jonathan Lemalu, Heather Lowe, and BBC Radio 3 Presenter Petroc Trelawny performed the roles of Noye, Mrs Noye and the Voice of God.

This project was made possible by generous support from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, the David Ross Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the K T Wong Foundation, Northamptonshire Community Foundation and other generous donors.

Artistic Director Nicholas Chalmers and Nevill Holt Opera General Manager Rosenna East, said: “We are deeply grateful to all those who worked so hard to make this outstanding project possible. We are proud that we have reached so many children across the David Ross Education Trust, giving them a fantastic introduction to opera and the chance to be inspired by live classical music and performance.”

Michael Ward, a young student from Malcolm Arnold Academy who performed a solo role in the production, said: ‘‘My opinion of opera was that it was a world that only certain people belonged in, but now I realise that opportunities like this give access to people who didn’t know about opera, and even people who have never sung before. It was brilliant! I would take part again in a heartbeat.”

Simon Toyne, Director of Music at the David Ross Education Trust, said: “Our partnership with Nevill Holt Opera has seen over 1,000 children across the Trust take part in a number of opera-led workshops and performances in the last year alone. The experience of Noye’s Fludde proved life changing for many of our students, as they were able to perform in a professional production with a major opera company.

“As a Trust, we want as many students as possible to engage with music at the highest level. Music is a central part of our overall vision to broaden the horizons of young people across the network. As a result of such positive experiences for our students in Noye’s Fludde, we now have a number of similar projects planned in the future with Nevill Holt Opera and other opera companies. We are thrilled that the demands for more opera are coming from the students themselves.”