10 May 2013 at 10.59am | Comment on this article
The Southbank Sinfonia taking part in the Royal Opera House's Side by Side development day © ROH, 2013
The young musicians of the Southbank Sinfonia recently had the chance to experience what it’s like to perform alongside The Royal Opera and Royal Ballet.
Led by Royal Opera House conductors Barry Wordsworth and Paul Wynne Griffiths, the orchestra was coached through some of the best-known works in the opera and ballet repertory.
The Southbank Sinfonia is a leading orchestral academy, based in London, designed to give young musicians a springboard into the profession. Their visit to the Royal Opera House was part of Side by Side, a skills development programme that includes coaching sessions, mock auditions and a variety of performance opportunities. The orchestra is one of the Royal Opera House’s partner organizations, alongside the BBC and the National Opera Studio.
’Everything about the ROH is grand,’ said French Horn player Letty Stott. ’From the weird and wonderful sets to the view from the pit stretching way up to the balconies and the breadth of the musical repertory.’
The day concluded with a performance that featured members of The Royal Ballet and the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.
’To perform with live musicians as well as witness the communication between conductor Barry Wordsworth and the dancers was very special,’ continued Letty. ’A fusion of the finest singers, dancers and musicians is hard to come by, and I feel privileged to have been given a glimpse. For me, this is what is so unique about the ROH and why it deserves its grand reputation.’
Conductor Paul Wynne Griffiths emphasized the importance of the Side by Side programme in the development of young musicians:
‘To be confined to a theatre pit for either opera or ballet is probably new for the players, and we at ROH enjoy introducing them to and guiding them through the experience.’
Forthcoming events at the Royal Opera House featuring the musicians of the Southbank Sinfonia include the Peter Hulsen Orchestral Song Award on Tuesday 14 May. Members of the orchestra also regularly take part in our free lunchtime recitals.