Benjamin Britten opera to star 150 young people from Oxford and its twinned cities

Published: Monday, 19th October 2015

Young people from Oxford and its twinned cities of Bonn, Leiden and Perm will come together for a Benjamin Britten opera later this week.

The performances of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde will take place in University Church on Thursday (22 October 2015) and Town Hall on Friday (23 October 2015). Both start at 7pm.

Children from Oxford’s twin cities of Bonn in Germany, Leiden in the Netherlands and Perm in Russia – along with young people from Oxford’s primary and secondary schools – will take part and help make up a cast of about 150 people.

The production, which has been organised by Oxford International Links, will be conducted by John Lubbock OBE, the conductor and founder of the well-known Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square.

Noye’s Fludde is a one-act opera that recounts the biblical story of Noah, the flood and the ark and was designed by Britten to be performed by children.

Voirrey Carr, Oxford International Links secretary, said: “It is going to be an unforgettable two nights, bringing together performers from around the world for a unique production here in Oxford.

“But perhaps more importantly it is also an opportunity for young people to sing in an opera with a famous conductor, and meet and make friends with children from our twinned cities.”

The orchestra will be made up of 36 children from Leiden, while the choir will consist of more than 70 children and 20 adults from Bonn. The show will also feature four dancers from Perm.

Noah’s sons and their spouses will be played by six 12 and 13 year olds, who have been hand-picked by Oxford International Links following an open audition held in August.

The Ark’s animals will be played by children from Blackbird Academy Trust and Windmill primary schools on Thursday and St Ebbes and our Lady’s Temple Cowley on Friday. Children from East Oxford Community Choir will also join in.

Noye will be played by professional singer Jake Muffett, while Mrs Noye will be played by Voirrey Carr.

Because it is such a large undertaking, Oxford International Links only puts on such an event once every two years.

Tickets cost £5 for children and £10 for adults and are available from Oxford Playhouse.