Ashville pupil lands Opera North production role

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A Harrogate school pupil will be making his singing debut for Opera North later this month at the world premiere of a performance centred around the Second World War.

Will Johnson, 11, an Ashville College music scholar, successfully auditioned for the Leeds-based organisation’s Young Voices over the summer, and since then has been busy rehearsing with his fellow vocalists.

And, on Friday November 22, he will take his place in the choir for the opening night of Will Todd’s Songs of Love and Battle, a micro opera depicting the conflicting emotions of war through the words and poems of Maggie Gottlieb.

While this will be the first time he has sung in a professional setting, Will - who is member of his school choir – hopes it won’t be his last, as he has his sights set on a career in the arts.

Ashville College Headmaster Richard Marshall said: “Will is a very talented young singer and we are delighted that Opera North has recognised this.

“He is following in the footsteps of a number of Ashville pupils who have sung with this body in the past, and all have greatly benefitted from, and enjoyed, the experience very much.

“It is great to see Will’s talents shining through outside of school, giving him the opportunity to represent Ashville at this highly-respected opera company.”

The Opera North Young Voices (ONYV) offers a perfect transition between the Children’s Chorus and the Youth Chorus and continues to provide expert training to enable young people to perfect their vocal technique and musicianship skills.