Catherine Wyn-Rogers on mentoring for our production of Peter Grimes at Co-Opera Co.'s 2015 Summer Development Programme this August

"I'm hugely looking forward to working with the members of the Co-Opera Co. Summer Development Programme cast to realise their roles and help them to re-create Britten's masterpiece once more"
Mezzo soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers

Mezzo soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers


The programme runs from 3-29 August 2015 at the John McIntosh Theatre, Fulham

Catherine will be joined by fellow mentors John Graham-Hall, Mezzo Nuala Willis, Baritone John Rawnsley, Conductor Matthew Waldren, Director Denni Sayers, Répétiteurs Charles Kilpatrick, David Gostick and Charlie Forrest and Co-Opera Co. Artistic Director, Soprano Kate Flowers.  

They will all be complemented by workshops and masterclasses by Co-Opera Co. Associate Artists including: Soprano Susan Gritton, Mezzo Yvonne Howard, Tenor Harry Nicoll, Conductor Stephen Wilder, Actor Norman Cooley, and Director of Auditions Oracle Melanie Merry.

Only two weeks left before the application deadline date for places on this Summer Development Programme. Full details of the programme as well as information about funding your place are on our new-look website.

Read more of Catherine's thoughts on working with us below:

"I first performed in a production of Peter Grimes for Scottish Opera, directed by Joachim Herz and conducted by Sir Richard Armstrong, with the much-missed Anthony Rolfe Johnson in the title role... I was Mrs. Sedley in a pith helmet as Dr. Herz felt she might have a few souvenirs of  her husband's life in India as a Nabob! Since then I have performed in many productions both Sedley and Auntie, and it's wonderful to have two such contrasting characters in the same opera for a mezzo! 

All productions of this amazing work are memorable, but I would have to say that Richard Jones' stunning version in Milan (with John Graham-Hall as a wonderful Grimes) set in a northern seaside town in England in the l980's and the 'Grimes on the Beach' at Aldeburgh in the 2013 anniversary production miraculously staged by Tim Albery, stand out for me and were magnificent in totally different ways. In both of these I was Mrs. Sedley, quite different in appearance, yet the disapproving and neurotic character of her was to the fore. 

I find Britten's music unbelievably compelling and never tire of it – the Sea Interludes of course are works of genius and conjure up the cold, silver light of the Suffolk coast which Britten seemed somehow to thrive on and the sea in all its moods, yet the characterisations of the village seem to leap off the page in their progress towards the shocking denouement, thanks to the setting of the text. Oddly there is a great contradiction in Grimes, as the two characters who seem most to hate Grimes and to be determined to ostracise him, Sedley and Boles, are the most righteous in their condemnation of a man seemingly incapable of kindness to the vulnerable children he takes to work for him, yet they are the ones we as the audience are most repelled by as they are so very flawed themselves (Boles is a lecherous alcoholic as well as a Methodist preacher and Mrs. Sedley is a laudanum addict very ready to judge and find fault with her fellow villagers). It's the contradiction in so many of the characters which makes them so fascinating. Somehow each of the characters in Grimes, every single person in The Borough, seems to be an echo of someone we've met – it's seems utterly English and yet universal in its representation of the human condition ñ a gift for any singing actor to get their teeth into.

I'm hugely looking forward to working with the members of the Co-Opera Co. Summer Development Programme cast to realise their roles and help them to re-create Britten's masterpiece once more."