Our winter residency was a musical journey into the magical, the mystical and the weird. We entered the mesmerising world of Liadov’s The Enchanted Lake, told tales of spells and bewitched brooms in Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and performed our first ever complete opera. We brought Bartok’s one-act opera Duke Bluebeard’s Castle to life in a production complete with our choreographed movements, spooky lighting, illustrated projections by our Artist In Residence Chris Riddell, and actors from the National Youth Theatre.
164 of us came together for the first time at the University of Nottingham, immersing ourselves entirely in the music. We worked together in our sections with our talented team of NYO Tutors, learnt choreographed movement in sessions with opera director Daisy Evans, and, over three days, we took our performance to three major UK concert halls: The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham and Barbican in London with conductor Sir Mark Elder and opera stars Robert Hayward and Rinat Shaham.
Find out more about our residency in this short film.
We're thrilled that our Artist in Residence, illustrator Chris Riddell, drew live to the music during our rehearsals and performance in London. Click here to watch his illustrations inspired by the music.
“The brilliance showcased by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain always seems to have no bounds…”
★★★★ The Daily Telegraph
“…orchestrally it was magnificent”
★★★★ The Guardian
“Everyone knows — don’t they? — that the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain is the UK’s youngest world-class symphony orchestra — an ensemble of musicians aged 18 and under that’s the equal of any professional band (and better than some).”
“The star of the show, however, was the orchestra…”
“What an opportunity for these gifted and hard-working young musicians! In hands such as theirs, the future of orchestral music is assured.”
“…mature ensemble playing that would have been a credit to any orchestral body, not only one of teenagers who have only known each other for just a few days.”
★★★★ The Arts Desk
“NYO distinguished itself with playing of superb artistry.”
“If you ever suffer from twinges of anxiety about the state of our culture and where is might be heading in the future, then a dose of the National Youth Orchestra could well restore your confidence.”
“I don’t think I’ve experienced another atmosphere surrounding an opera/recital quite like this one, it’s so joyous, and excited, not just the audience but the orchestra too.”
“I found myself enthralled and amazed by the undeniable talent on display this evening, and if ever I have the opportunity of attending another NYO concert, I shall do so eagerly.”
The Manchester Salon blog
Hear our performance on BBC iPlayer until 8 February 2018.
We continue taking our totally teenage orchestral brilliance to concert halls across the UK in 2018. In April, NYO divides in two, with one orchestra performing Bernstein’s epic MASS with Marin Alsop at the Royal Festival Hall in London, and another bringing a concert for teenagers called NYO Unleashed to Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and the Royal Festival Hall in London. BOOK TICKETS