Every summer an intensive period of coaching and rehearsals culminates in two full scale productions at the Peacock Theatre. These performances, in which BYO performs alongside Southbank Sinfonia, are seen by the general public, the press, and representatives from all aspects of the professional opera world, thus providing the perfect platform for our young participants. Repertoire is announced on our website in the Spring and booking opens in May. You can receive advance notice of these productions by signing up to our mailing list.
Small-scale concerts are held in London for BYO Friends, supporters and guests, and occasional performances for other organisation offer the opportunity for alumni from recent seasons to work together. These also provide new and different training experiences as they take place in varied, sometimes challenging locations. A first in 2015 was a concert in The Clink – a restaurant in which inmates are trained inside the grounds of HMP Brixton.
Fundraising Gala Concerts take place at least once a year. Venues have included the Queen’s Chapel, the Reform Club, a number of Livery Halls (notably Grocers’, Fishmongers’ and Stationers’), and the Institute of Directors. The common theme is a performance from BYO alumni and in recent years these have included Peter Auty, Rebecca Bottone, Lucy Crowe, Ben Johnson, Gwyn Hughes Jones, David Kimberg, Katarina Karnéus, Christopher Maltman, Benedict Nelson, Meeta Raval, Claire Rutter, Nicky Spence and David Stout, as well as Vice President Bryn Terfel. Last year's Gala at Merchant Taylors' Hall we were joined by our President, Dame Felicity Lott.
This year's event took place at the iconic sporting venue of Lord's Cricket Ground where we were joined by our Vice President Sir John Tomlinson CBE.
Occasional masterclasses offer the chance for recent BYO participants to work with eminent opera professionals in front of an audience of BYO supporters. In recent years these have been led by Sir Thomas Allen, Maestro José Cura, Sir Mark Elder, Joan Rodgers, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir John Tomlinson, Dame Josephine Barstow, Susan Bullock, Edward Gardner, Diana Montague and David Rendall and Yvonne Kenny, as well as actor Timothy West and director Jonathan Miller.