Opera star: 'Opera is the perfect art form'

Jenni France, second from the left.

Jenni France, second from the left.

First published in Music Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

JENNI France grew up in Bledlow and fell in love with opera, which she describes as the "prefect art form", when she went to music college. She is currently starring in the chorus at Garsington Opera before she takes to the stage next year in a principle role.

Jenni, 27, cannot believe the Garsington Opera season is nearly coming to an end. Staged in the beauty of the Wormsley Estate in Stokenchurch the season started on June 7 and runs until July 11.

The operas this year are Hänsel und Gretel, Maometto secondo and Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

In the latter two Jenni is in the chorus and is also a cover for Blonde in the Mozart piece.

Soprano Jenni, who is now based in London, said: "It is like a really big family company. I like the way it is set up- you rehearse in London for a couple of weeks and move down to Wormsley quite early and rehearse.

"We are all in a barn for the dressing room. There is quite a family feel to it- everybody is mucking in, as it were."

And she said there is a great bond between all the cast with the principal roles and the chorus.

She added: "It makes such a difference. You look up to the principles. It is nice to make new friends. It is good to get to know some new people."

One of the main reasons she chose to audition for the chorus this year is because next year she is going to be in a principal role in Fidelio.

She said: "I decided I wanted to get to know the place and the company so I felt really comfortable before doing a principal role.

"It has been a really good fun thing to do, without feeling any pressure.

"It is like nothing else I have ever worked for. You can be on stage and look across and see these beautiful grounds."

She turned 27 during the season and for her birthday was given the score to Fidelio, which she was looking over ready for next year.

Once Garsington has finished she has two weeks off before she joins Opera North for its season.

Jenni regularly took part in the Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Projects from 2001 and 2006.

She went to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, before she went to the Royal Northern college of Music, and finished at The Royal Academy of Music in London.

She said: "I didn't know an awful lot about opera before I went up to Manchester then I fell in love with it.

"I think it is the pinnacle of the arts. The productions are amazing.

"You have got to act really well and move really well but most importantly sing beautifully.

"It is the perfect art form in that sense. It includes everything to the absolute highest level. The music is just beautiful. There is something really special about opera."

It was at college in Manchester where she met Bradley Travis, who she wed two years ago at Notley Abbey.

He is also an opera singer. She said: "It is nice to share the biggest passion in your life."

For more information about Garsington Opera go to http://www.garsingtonopera.org/

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