The Orphans of Koombu - In-School Performances

Mon 6 - Wed 15 May 2019

Allan Stephenson (b.1949)

The Buxton International Festival Company bring you The Orphans of Koombu with a chorus of young people from schools across Derbyshire.

All the students have been working incredibly hard with our director and conductor are now ready to join our professional company of nine operatic singers to perform The Orphans of Koombu for the first time in the UK.

This 75-minute show is bursting with operatic beauty, dollops of musical theatre and African harmonies sung to a live band with marimba, piano and percussion. First performed by Cape Town Opera to communities throughout South Africa, The Orphans of Koombu is all about oppression, uprising, euphoria and a new world order.

What’s it all about?

Three travellers, Sticks, Sophia and Silas set out on journey to the mysterious town of Koombu. They meet a group of young people digging holes, who run from them in terror. Sticks discovers that the townsfolk are hiding a dark secret which threatens to destroy the town. The land responds to this betrayal of its youth by drying the rivers and springs. Can the three travellers inspire the orphans and bring harmony and healing to an artificially fractured society?

Tickets are available now!

Adults: £8
Children: £4
Family (2 adults, 2 children): £20

Book now!

Lead cast

Sticks, Daniella Sicari

Daniella is an Australian/British soprano who completed her postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. Daniella is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards which include the WA Young People & The Arts International Award, Amanda Roocroft Prize, The Joyce & Michael Kennedy Strauss Prize, John Cameron Award for Lieder, The Elizabeth Harwood Prize and Robin Kay Memorial Prize.

Sophia, Fiona Finsbury

Soprano Fiona Finsbury trained at the RNCM School of Vocal Studies and Opera under the tutelage of Jane Irwin. ​She has a particular interest in contemporary opera, and recently performed the role of Hanna in the world premiere of Adam Gorb’s opera, The Path To Heaven, at the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds.

Silas, Edward Robinson

Edward is a baritone, based in the North West of England, currently studying for his Master of Music postgraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music. Edward’s passion for opera has lead him to perform in a number of innovative productions during his career. He has performed with Dorset Opera festival, Clonter Opera and was a Young Artist at Buxton International Festival, 2018.

Creative Cast

Mark Burns, Director

Born in Buxton, Mark Burns works extensively as a director of opera and in 2015 founded The Opera Box, a new company that stages rarely performed operas with small casts and staged song repertoire. He staged the company’s sell-out first production, Open the Box, as part of the Totally Thames Festival in 2016 and returned in 2017 directing a new production of Mozart’s The Impresario and Lambert’s new semi-opera The Oval Portrait.

Tom Newall, Conductor

After studies at Durham University and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, British conductor Tom Newall is currently Music Director of Blackburn Music Society, Salford Choral Society and Leeds Youth Opera, and is the Artistic Director of Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra. Tom founded Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra in early 2014 to give aspiring professional musicians and conductors the opportunity to play a wide range of repertoire in a high quality ensemble, helping to bridge the gap between a player’s studies and professional orchestras.