Britten Opera Scenes

On Friday I had the pleasure to share the stage with my wonderful colleagues in a set of Opera Scenes produced by the Royal College of Music. The scenes were all from the works of Benjamin Britten to mark the 30th anniversary of the building of the Benjamin Britten Theatre at the College and included:

The Rape of Lucretia
Albert Herring
Turn Of The Screw
Owen Wingrave
Billy Budd
A Middummer Night’s Dream
Paul Bunyan

The week leading up to the performance was well organised and very slick. Each scene had its own separate rehearsal on Monday to iron out any wrinkles and make any final corrections. Then on Wednesday and Thursday we began running the scenes together to get a sense of timings and a feel for the overall production.

It was brilliant to be able to support and watch my colleagues as we began bringing the show together. We then added curtain calls, lighting and special effects. Then on Friday we came in early to do our make up and hair. After that we finally got to wear our costumes and worked out any last-minute niggles and the timings for the quick changes. Then after these two rehearsals we performed the show at 5:30.

Carly Owen and Me

I performed as Flora from “Turn Of The Screw”, alongside Ashlyn Tymms as ‘Mrs Grouse’, Carly Owen as ‘The Governess’ and Josephine Goddard as ‘Miss Jessel’. I had a great time preparing for the scene alongside these fantastic singers and I hope we can work together again in the future.

Eleanor Sanderson-Nash, Carly Owen, Harry Thatcher, Me and Amy Manford

I also took on the part of one of the fairies in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Amy Manford as ‘Tytania’, Feargal Mostyn-Williams as ‘Oberon’, Stephen Mills as ‘Lysander’, Beth Moxon as ‘Hermia’, Eleanor Sanderson-Nash as ‘Helana’, Harry Thatcher as Demetrius, Rory Carver as ‘Puck’. Eleanor Sanderson-Nash, Carly Owen, and Ida Ranzlov were the other Fairies. It was so much fun to be part of such an enthusiastic group of performers and I had an amazing time.



The Whole Cast
Timothy Edlin, Eleanor Sanderson-Nash, Carly Owen, Me, and Amy Manford
Me with Ida Ranzlov


Rory Carver, Me and Amy Manford
Me and Director, Lorenzo Mariani
Timothy Edlin and Richard Pinkstone
Beth Moxon and Me

To end my post tonight I would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year as we enter the year of the Rooster.


51 thoughts on “Britten Opera Scenes

  1. You and the other casts look fantastic in the costumes. Thank you to tell a little about how the rehearsal went. That make logical sense to do scene by scene and then put everything together.

    Happy Chinese New Year to you too.

  2. After trying my hand in a uni choir and realising I couldn’t sing (something my friends could have told me) a friend and I briefly had a punk band. The name was taken from a Britten Opera. Saint Nicholas I think. We were called The Pickled Boys. Only afterwards did we realise it sounded like we were parodying the Spice Girls. Thankfully for the world we never took off. 😄

    1. 😀 Scott I’m sure you can sing still , you should try a male voice choir I have lots of friends who sing in them and really enjoy the camaraderie. Punk maybe even due its revival soon lol.
      Best wishes

      1. Thanks so much Scott it would be so much harder to carry on with my training without the support I get from you and other friends listening and downloading my CDs I’m very grateful.
        Thanks again,

  3. It’s Great reading of this news 🙂 It is so pleasing to see pictures of these great times all you have and share, precious are these days ! Thanks for letting us out here know..

    1. It is Annette I pinch myself sometimes, I’ve spent five months working on technique to enjoy these performances even more and experiment with new ideas here.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte 💕

  4. How wonderful, love, love, love the photos!
    Here’s wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year too. Cock a doodle doo!
    Looks like the performances were a great delight! So glad that your parents were there to see you, Charlotte.

    1. Cock a doodle doo to you too Darlene 😀 I was born in the year of the Rooster.
      It was great having them here, I missed them today when they couldn’t make it down three weekends in a row hehe 😄.

  5. Considering that Benjamin Britten was English, it’s interesting that he turned to the United States and American writers for inspiration: Paul Bunyan, Billy Budd by Herman Melville and The Turn of the Screw and Owen Wingrave by Henry James.

    1. A global outlook, I hope to experience some arts and culture from other Countries in the world too, I think that’s what studying in a conservatoire does to a rural Northern town girl 😀 and maybe even to Britten when he studied at the Royal College of Music, you meet so many interesting people and gives you the feel you’re part of a global family.
      All my best wishes Don,

  6. By the looks of those smiles, everyone is really enjoying their careers and their roles! Great post, Charlotte. Thank you for keeping us up to date of your performances.

      1. I think you do. At least from your pictures, your smile seems bigger and eyes sparkle. It has to do with the team work involved, I think. Going through from beginning to a successful end.

  7. Cock-a-doodle-doooooo!
    The whole show must have been well worth attending, as well as being an absolute blast to have been part of it.
    With all the costume-changing practice you have had, getting up in the morning from nightclothes to ready-to-leave should take you fifteen seconds flat!

    1. The show had a very good audience the tickets are free when reserved in advance and I’d recommend Opera scenes to anyone wanting a taste of opera or to see people just before they finish their training. I’m rapid in the morning I can even put my hair in a tidy bun for speed 😀.
      Best wishes

  8. Hi Charlotte, thank you for the update. It seems that you have played quite a few characters during your studies. Have any of the characters’ personalities stayed with you, perhaps, longer than the rest (or more than usual)?

    1. Hi Eric, great question, I try to put a bit of my own personality into each character but Flora was a lot darker than me, the way I built the character of Flora stuck with me and the advice I was given through this process. I tend to move on but if I ever have a character that does grip on to me I’ll let you know.
      Best wishes

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.